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23 February 2015 News

At Chateau Montelena, they are looking between the rows of vines for a way to absorb greenhouse gases, extend the life of farmland and keep soil moist in times of drought.  By extensively using ground-cover crops and composting methods, Montelena is preserving its lands for future use. The soil-hugging vegetation essentially acts as a safeguard against the exhaustion of the land.  The plants pull carbon dioxide from the air, retaining water, harboring pest-hunting insects and strengthening the ground against erosion.  As a bonus, all of these factors reduce the reliance on and cost of pesticides and fertilizers.

Vineyard manager Dave Vella states, “It’s all about balance; we want to maintain what we already have (in the soil). We’re not going to ‘improve’ on anything. … You have to look at soil like a big checking account; you make a deposit and you get a return, but you can’t keep withdrawing from the soil.”

The full piece can be read here.