DE BORTOLI WINES
De Bortoli Wines has expanded into some of Australia’s best known wine regions across Victoria and New South Wales including the Yarra, King and Hunter Valleys from its original base in Bilbul, in the Riverina region of southern New South Wales. The Bilbul site produces fortified, premium varietal and sparkling wines. Fruit is sourced from 300 hectares of vineyards and those of selected growers. ASM have been working with De Bortoli to demonstrate the benefit of compost treatments to improve soil health, grape quality and yield.
Baseline soil analysis and treatments commenced in Autumn 2016 at the Bilbul site near Griffith NSW. Soils are deep hard-setting clays. Fertigation is the standard practice. ASM treated rows received no fertigation with irrigation rates unchanged. All other standard management practices also continued.
Visual improvements for ASM treated rows in the first 12 months have not been matched by data for grape quality and production. However, staff are confident that improvements in these metrics will come later as vines are slower to respond than pastures or annual crops.
The top soil in treated rows has responded with a darker colour, better structure and the presence of mycorrhizal fungi for better nutrient uptake by roots. Soil test results show large increases in phosphorous from 0-10cm. Further increases in organic matter are required, especially below 10cm, to help build soil structure for infiltration of air and water down into the deeper layers.
This Case Study was jointly funded by ASM and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA). NSW EPA provided financial support under their Organics Market Development Program to demonstrate the use of recycled organics (compost) on farms in NSW.
Property Size: 300 hectares
Location: Bilbul, NSW
Aim: Improve soil health, grape quality & yield
Results: Visual improvements for ASM treated rows in the first 12 months. The top soil in treated rows has responded with a darker colour, better structure and the presence of mycorrhizal fungi for better nutrient uptake by roots.