As part of our sustainability programme, this year we are trialing the application of gypsum on our premium home vineyard site in the lower Wairau Valley area of Marlborough.
What is gypsum?
Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral, made up of calcium, sulfur, oxygen and hydrogen, and is most commonly used in constructing homes (you might know it as 'gib board'), but it's also a highly effective material that supports great outcomes for soil. We've taken 100% recycled gib board, which has been ground down into a fine dust, and we're applying it onto the soils of our vineyard.
How does gypsum benefit the vines?
The main benefit of spreading gypsum on the vines, is the promotion of better soil conditions. Gypsum helps to improve soil health, by increasing the amount of organic matter that is retained, which in turn, promotes better water retention. It also helps with aeration, and improves soil structure.
In addition, gypsum helps to reduce the impact of wind and water erosion, and reduces compaction issues, which occurs when vineyard machinery (such as tractors and harvesters) runs over the land.
So, heaps of benefits!
Want to know what else we're doing to support sustainability in our vineyards?
If you are interested in our sustainability initiatives (from grazing sheep in our vineyards, to our 2020/2021 cover crop programme) take a quick read of our previous report on our winter to spring time sustainability actions by clicking here.