At Babich, we’re so sustainably minded that we even recycle our vineyards!
One of the places we’re doing this at the moment is at Fernhill in Hawke’s Bay, where we’re replacing some old vines with more and better new ones.
This part of Fernhill has proven its ability to produce fine Chardonnay, and we’re sticking with this variety, only changing from Clone 6 to the superior Clone 548. This clone is known for its quality, usually producing small and somewhat loose bunches. Having this available will give our winemakers more tools to work with for future blends.
At the same time, we’re changing the planting pattern from the old-style wide rows to the more modern 2.5m spacing. We’re also planting the new vines slightly closer together within each row. With more vines in the ground, we have the potential to grow more fruit, or to give each vine fewer bunches to ripen, so we can make even better wine. It’s a win-win!
Even the vines that were pulled out will help us in future, as most of it is being turned into fire wood we will use in our burners to ward off frosts in winter.
We normally do dry farming on these deep river soils, deposited by the nearby Ngaruroro River. However, for now we will put in some temporary irrigation to help the new vines through their first summer. In their second summer, they should be well established and able to look after themselves – ready to start producing some outstanding Chardonnay.