Tell us in a few sentences about your experience as a viticulturist, how did you arrive here?
We have a vineyard management/contracting /consulting business in the Adelaide Hills. I have been a qualified viticulturist since 1998, started Tolley Viticulture in 2008 and our wine business in 2015. Since then, we have established a cellar door & accommodation business.
Why did you decide to apply to be an EcoGrower, was there something specific that influenced your decision and/or had you attended a previous EcoVineyards session?
We have been gradually reducing our chemical use and number of inputs in our vineyards and we are now at a point where we need to learn more about what we can do, hence why would like to become an EcoGrower.
Has there been a defining moment or catalyst for you to move towards more ecologically driven viticultural practices?
I think it’s more the demand from buyers of our wine, they would like to see us move into the vineyard sustainability space.
Can you provide a brief overview of your project ideas, and what you wish to achieve over the 3 years and why is this important to you?
Whilst we have reduced herbicide inputs substantially over the years, I would like to take the next step to eliminate herbicide use – whether that is planting native grasses under vine or implementing mechanical inputs to reduce its use.
Are you just starting to learn, or have you been enhancing biodiversity on your property and is this an extension of what you are currently doing? If so, please tell us more.
Since the Cudlee Creek Fire we have enhanced our biodiversity by planting native tree.
Tell us about your hidden superpowers, something that others don’t know about you or a practice you would like to champion?
I am a big believer in predatory birds influencing the movement of grape eating birds such as starlings, grass parrots, lorikeets etc.
Where do you see grape growing in the future, do you feel there is an urgency to change current practices? If so, why?
Sustainability is vital for most vineyards. Whilst organic viticulture practices can be adopted easily in drier climates, we need to find a balance of how far we can go in cool climate viticulture without risking return or jeporadising the land of which we grow upon.…
What else would you like to share with the broader EcoVineyards community, what gets you excited about the future?
It’s hard to get too excited……, I’ve obviously been doing this for too long, but my children are becoming involved in the industry now, so I want to make sure that I adopt all the best growing practices for the next generation of my business.