Jul 13 , 2020
Alive in the Vines: Biodiversity in the Vineyard
There’s a lot more than grapes growing at Traynor Vineyard in Prince Edward County. You have probably heard of the term biodiversity being thrown around before, especially in environments where this exists naturally. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing, so it only makes sense that we’d want to be able to replicate this on vineyards.
Thriving, naturally occurring biodiversity happens all over the world — the rainforests being the most obvious example — but it takes a lot of planning before Mother Nature takes over in an environment where specific crops are being planted and grown with a purpose, like farms and vineyards.
Traynor is in the early stages yet, but the team is excited to explore this idea and apply it.
What does biodiversity mean for a vineyard?
It means that there will be various species of herbs, flowers and trees strategically planted among one another to help each other thrive. After several years, these species will naturally encourage other types of plants to grow, and also welcome local birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife that will live in balance with each other, and will call the vineyard home.
The team has been busy this year putting this plan into action. Several trees have been planted between some of the vines to help block the strong Lake Ontario winds. The trees and other plants being introduced into the vineyard will also help irrigate water naturally to help hold the moisture so the vines won’t be deprived of water, and others won’t get flooded. Mike has even let a friend start growing their hops on the vineyard — it’s just the beginning.
Over time, this variation in plants will help add nutrients to the soil (the grapes will love that). It also helps prevent disease naturally — meaning no pesticides (the grapes will love that, too!)
It’s a long-term plan with many more phases to come before natural balance takes hold, but the team at Traynor knows it will be worth it.
So, what's being planted?
If you have visited Traynor before, you know they have a thriving garden upon entrance. If you have yet to visit, we welcome you to literally stop to smell the roses before grabbing a glass of wine. In addition to the roses, the team has planted orris, edelweiss, hazelnut, sea buckthorn, elderberry and southernwood camphor just this past spring. It’s been a hot summer, but we’re staying hopeful that they will be joining the Traynor family and flourish.
You also can’t ignore the rows of lavender that turn a beautiful shade of purple and are one of the over 20 botanical ingredients that grow organically to add into the vermouths.
It’s a waiting game. We need to see how this year’s additions adapt, which ones don’t. Which plants are doing their part, which ones aren’t. It’s about listening and learning — which requires a lot of patience.
We’ll be keeping you updated as we continue to look to 2021. For real time updates you can follow @traynorvineyards.