Tell us in a few sentences about your experience as a viticulturist, how did you arrive here?
I have been a viticulturist for close to 30 years. I’ve worked on the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley and have visited many different regions around the world.
Nothing beats the Mornington Peninsula lifestyle.
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 thought our property had an ideal area to be remediated, and I care deeply about looking after the natural world.
Has there been a defining moment or catalyst for you to move towards more ecologically driven viticultural practices?
We have been slowly moving to a wholistic approach to managing our vineyards and adjoining areas, and the catalyst was realising that it’s up to us to actually do something about it.
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?
After building new sheds the spoil from the old shedding including excavated soil was placed in this location down the back of the property. I have been looking at it for a few years thinking I have to do something about that area, but the day-to-day activities of managing our vineyards always took priority.
We plan to remove the building waste re-form the land, so it is manageable, plant out suitable indigenous plants (with guidance from Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association) (creating a wildlife corridor).
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.
The property had some extensive biodiversity work done when it was initially set up. These areas had been overlooked for some time, but over the last few years we have put a lot of time and effort controlling weeds in those areas and this has led to an increased focus on biodiversity in other areas of the property.
Tell us about your hidden superpowers, something that others don’t know about you or a practice you would like to champion?
One of my hidden superpowers is my ability to remember all sorts of useless information. I’m a great person to have on your team at trivia nights!
Where do you see grape growing in the future, do you feel there is an urgency to change current practices? If so, why?
I think technology will play a bigger role (e.g., robotics) I think fungicide and herbicide use will need to get more precise with application.
What else would you like to share with the broader EcoVineyards community, what gets you excited about the future?
I’m excited about the impact that emerging technologies will have on improving the overall quality and efficiencies in wine production.