Welcome to the blog of Johnathan Grieve.

I am the proprietor of Avondale wine estate, and pioneer of the BioLOGIC® approach to sustainable viticulture. The transformation of Avondale from over-used and abused land into a thriving, robust vineyard ecosystem has been a personal learning journey of more than a decade long. This blog is where I share some of what I have learnt about promoting life on our farm and the wonderful impact this has had on our handcrafted premium quality wines.

Johnathan Grieve

Beneficial bacteria can tackle the worst grape diseases

Beneficial bacteria can tackle the worst grape diseases

With our commitment to organic and Biodynamic farming, and to preserve our healthy vineyard ecosystem, we’ve turned to biological controls in order to avoid fungicides. Nature provides alternatives in the form of various strains of beneficial bacteria, such as Bacillus amyloliquifaciens and Bacillus subtilis, which are highly effective at preventing common, threatening fungal infections.

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2018 is a Year of Special Moon Events

2018 is a Year of Special Moon Events

When it comes to the energies and rhythms of the moon, 2018 is certainly going to be an exceptional year. Many of you would have been aware that January 2018 was a rare Blue Moon month, with two Full Super Moons – and the last on the 31st of January pulling out all stops as a Super Blue Blood Moon!

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Beneficials to beat Bollworms

Beneficials to beat Bollworms

In this third article in our series about using beneficials to solve challenges naturally and avoid harmful chemicals in the farm environment, we look at solutions for a common problem – bollworms. A bollworm is not a worm, but the larvae (caterpillars) of a number of different moth species. Voracious eaters, they do give farmers a real hard time.

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Introducing Nitrogen-fixing Beneficials

Introducing Nitrogen-fixing Beneficials

We started this series of articles on the role of ‘beneficials’ in natural farming with an overview that highlighted how everything from bats to bacteria can help you to maintain a healthy farm ecosystem.  Beneficials play a vital role in helping you to avoid the use...

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From Bats to Bacteria! Enhancing Beneficials…

From Bats to Bacteria! Enhancing Beneficials…

One of the most effective, responsible and long-lasting ways to reduce damage from pests is to introduce or deliberately boost natural populations of ‘beneficials’ – be they helpful predators, parasites or pathogens. Providing habitat and food sources for a range of organisms within the farm ecosystem is an important way of working with Nature to manage pests and avoid the use of pesticides and fungicides that poison the environment.

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Johnathan Grieve

As family man… Avondale is a family farm where we appreciate that the health and balance of our living system is inextricably linked to well-being of our families. As a father of two and a husband, as son and brother, my inspiration to achieve a robust, balanced vineyard ecosystem is to ensure that Avondale will support the lives of our future generations.

As artist… A passion for jazz and a love for all forms of art, especially woodwork and sculpture led me into four years of fine art studies – an eclectic education for a budding a farmer, for sure! However, I have found that in so many ways, the patterns, interconnections and openness of the artistic worldview have influenced my understanding of how living systems work.

As farmer… My interest in farming started early when I was a boy growing up on a small-holding outside of Durbanville. I planted and tended my own vegetables which I sold to family and friends. I hardly imagined at that time though that I would one day become a farmer. However, the theme of a healthy balanced life was embedded in our family’s outlook.

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