© Grapegrower & Winemaker December 2011 – Issue 575

Australian grapegrowers and winemakers aren’t alone in their efforts to give back to the land that supports them. For this special sustainability issue, Grapegrower & Winemaker invited South African grapegrower and winemaker Johnathan Grieve to share his unique connection with the vineyard, which he says goes beyond the labels or organic and biodynamic.

At the foot of the Klein Drakenstein mountains in Paarl Valley, one of South Africa’s historic winemaking regions, sits the vineyard and winery Avondale. In 1997, when my family bought the farm, Avondale, the land had been under cultivation for more than 300 years. Decades of tough conventional farming with its arsenal of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides had particularly decimated life in the soils.

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