of years of harmful chemical use has rendered the soil in many European
vineyards “not farmable.” In an attempt to save their investments,
French, German and Italian grape growers have turned to organic and biodynamic
methods of controlling weeds, insects and disease. They are also
natural compost to rebuild the soil and make it sustainable for agricultural
Crossing Vineyards is committed to limiting its use of harmful
chemicals, substituting more environmentally friendly methods such
as cover cropping, bat boxes, under-row tillers, bio-fungicides,
natural oils and
kelp products for foliar nutrition to strengthen the vines against
Rotational cover crops were planted between rows at Crossing Vineyards
in May, 2003.
Buckwheat, a summer annual and notorious calcium scavenger, was
planted in all odd vineyard rows. At season’s end, the buckwheat will be
plowed under, returning all accumulated calcium to the soil.
Even vineyard rows were planted with a mix of wildflowers and
Middle Master fescue. The wildflowers generate beneficial insects, which
help reduce the need for chemicals.
The first bat box was installed at Crossing Vineyards in July,
2003. Bats are the natural predators of certain harmful insects and pests.
A winter clover crop will be planted to control erosion and replenish