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Gemtree Vineyards, Australia – Paul and Jill Buttery

February 28, 2012


We are a family owned grape-growing and winemaking business in McLaren Vale, Australia, with over 330 acres of vineyards that produce 20,000 cases of wine annually.

For us, “biodynamic” means farming our land in a more sustainable way, having minimal negative impact on the environment.  Biodynamics is a means of organic farming that requires the added input of biodynamic operations and timing certain activities with the lunar cycle.  Biodynamics is about improving soil health and fertility which translates to healthier vines and better quality fruit.

Biodynamic practices we are using include:

  1. Application of biodynamic preparations to the soil and the vines
  2. Removal of herbicides for weed control and weeding instead with undervine weeder, undervine slasher or grazing sheep
  3. Using only organically certified chemicals for pest and disease control
  4. Using various techniques and methods to encourage beneficial predators to the vineyard to control pests
  5. Application of composts and volcanic rock dusts to the soil to improve soil fertility


Cow Horns

Farming organically using biodynamic practices is one option for farming in a more sustainable manner and it is the method that we have chosen in an effort to improve fruit quality. Biodynamics is about soil fertility and the recognition of a relationship between plant growth and the lunar cycle. It provides an opportunity for farmers to regain the role and function as providers for and caretakers of the health and welfare of the community, as well as the environment.

Biodynamics is a proactive approach to farming that looks at the individuality of each property and adds back with natural plant and animal life to emulate nature and create a self-sustainable environment. Biodynamic farming integrates agricultural, biological and ecological scientific knowledge into crop rotations, compost production, plant diversity, homeopathic sprays and soil and animal practices.

As a family company with a future generation to think about, our business must be sustainable – and because we farm the land, our farming practices must be focused on future growth.  Biodynamics is not only about having a softer impact on the environment than conventional practices but is ensuring that what we are doing is improving upon what we already have, not denigrating it.





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