Antiquum Farms – Organic Viticulture
This is for all of you who appreciate wine. While visiting my son (who graduated recently from the University of Oregon) in Eugene, we had the pleasure of staying at Antiquum Farms, an organic farm in the Willamette Valley. Here I am out in the vineyard with owner Stephen Hagen talking about growing grapes without herbicides, and natural methods such as letting the sheep, geese and chickens do the grazing (the animals can clear 6 acres in 10 days!) This organic micro-site specific farming is referred to as grazing based viticulture.
According to Stephen: “We use intensive rotational grazing to cycle nutrients from diverse cover crops to the vines. This intermitant grazing creates cycles of root die-off which release and retain microbial life and organic matter. Top dressings of consumed cover crops are carried back to the vine roots by these stimulated microbes and other creepy crawleys. Several years of this practice have lead to a vineyard that needs no fertilizer from outside the farm, creating a unique wine that is truly site specific.”
In any case, we really enjoyed our visit and the wine! I hope you find this as interesting as we did!