If you still think that being an organic grower is an excuse for laziness; don’t read this. On the other hand, if you subscribe to the view that the Riverland will be the organic vineyard to the world, as we surge into the new wine era; read on.
Glen McGourty is coming to the Riverland. Who is Glen McGourty you ask? He is the Winegrowing and Plant Science Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension Offices in Lake and Mendocino County. He received an AB degree in Botany from Humboldt State University in 1974. He received an MS degree in Plant Soil and Water Science from the University of Nevada Reno in 1979. Glenn joined UC Cooperative Extension in 1987, and works with wine grape growers, wineries, nurseries, landscapers and vegetable growers. Present research activities include evaluating 14 Mediterranean wine grape varieties; clonal trials of Sauvignon blanc, comparison of organic, biodynamic and conventional farming for their effects on wine grape and soil quality; and evaluation of cover crop species.
On Thursday, August 4 Glenn will meet with interested Riverland growers to discuss soil health, cover crops and the benefits of organic and biodynamic vineyard management. He will be accompanied by his long-time friend and colleague from Roseworthy, Dr Chris Penfold also an expert around similar topics.
Riverland Wine has arranged a briefing session beginning at the Berri hotel at 9:30 AM. The group will then travel by coach to the Angove Family Winemakers, Nanya Vineyard where Nick Bakkum will talk about the conversion process from conventional to organic vineyard management before stopping off at Wilkadene for lunch. All travellers will have plenty of opportunity to speak directly with Glen and Chris. The tour will then head to 919 Wines where Eric Semmler will talk about organic vineyard management on a smaller scale. Eric will also discuss organic winemaking and cover questions about the conversion process and the various options regarding certification.
There’s never been a more exciting time to be a winegrower in the Riverland. Consumers increasingly want to know more about wines and the environmental credentials of the growers and processors than where the grapes were grown. Furthermore, there can be little doubt that the Riverland is the most appropriate winegrowing region in Australia for organic and biodynamic winegrapes. Incidentally, note Glenn’s credentials in researching Mediterranean varieties; another area of growing interest for more of this region’s ongoers.
If you want to be part of this opportunity to learn from the experts, contact Kate on 8584 5816 or email. This experience is free for all Riverland Wine members and is presented in collaboration with Wine Australia as part of the Regional Extension Program.