Vintage Journal

  • A Most Enthusiastic Approach

    In a couple of weeks the Oregon Wine Industry will greet a few hundred enthusiastic wine professionals for Oregon Pinot Camp.  This year I have the pleasure of being one of the winegrowers tasked with creating and delivering a presentation on a vineyard topic; soil microbiology.  For a History major, I am oddly enthusiastic about this topic, especially as I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year plus thinking about soil.  As you recall, that’s what led us to return to no till farming.  In preparation, I revisited David Montgomery’s book, Growing a Revolution:  Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, and I found something else I want to test – Biochar.  There are a lot of claims made about this ancient practice related both to increasing crop yields and to sequestering carbon.  If you do a quick search, you’ll find what I’ll describe as cautious optimism, but by no means consensus on the impact of biochar on carbon sequestration.  At this point, I’m more focused on the claims that it can accelerate soil formation and crop yields.  I’m hoping we’ll be able to apply it in a couple of weaker sections of one of our vineyards.  Definitely more later on this one.- Bill Sweat, Proprietor

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