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Schist soil

Respect for the soil “Take care of the land as you would care for your family" - Kurt Robinson

In New Zealand, the great spectacle of nature is omnipresent, an essential feel-good factor and an art de vivre in harmony with the elements. Sustainable development is high on Edmond de Rothschild Heritage’s priority list.

The company’s vision of its future-proof vineyard? To have the lowest possible impact on the environment and preserve the unique natural site that is Central Otago, and to appreciate its beauty and leave it intact for future generations, while simultaneously producing exceptional wines.

While respecting local knowledge, Edmond de Rothschild Heritage adds its own know-how into the mix, bringing innovation and reflection as to what a vineyard of precision in Central Otago should be. A vineyard that is perfectly integrated to the local landscape and respectful of the place.

The Akarua vineyard will begin its conversion to organic winemaking for its 2023 vintage, with a view to holding certification in time for the 2026 vintage. A further challenge for this vineyard, surrounded by mountains and subject to an extreme climate. This precision viticulture will optimise the management of both the resources and the grapevines. In particular, this will require installing an underground irrigation system, which will save water and imitate the effect of rainfall to better hydrate the soil deeper down; sowing legumes and flowers between the rows to retain water and create the carbon chains necessary for organic life and for remineralization of the substrate; and, lastly, promoting biodiversity in the vineyard.

These wide-ranging methods have already been successfully used in Rimapere and will be adapted to the unique features of the Akarua vineyard, where the plant material, gradually renewed by uprooting, replanting and top grafting, will undergo regeneration as a result. The beginning of a journey to reinvigorate the land and improve the soil for generations to come.

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