Mind Your Beeswax and You’ll Get More Wine
About 100,000 beehives are trucked from the east coast to South Australia during the almond blossom season annually because bees have been proven to increase almond yields. So when Cullen wineries wanted to improve the reliability of the chardonnay yields from its Margaret River vineyard, their winemaker thought that bees might provide the solution. A hive was installed on site and the bees were trained to seek out chardonnay flowers. The experiment saw an increase in the yield of eight percent (or 60 cases of premium chardonnay) in the first year.
This is just one of many tools that winemakers are employing to encourage healthy ecosystems which in turn impact a vineyard’s productivity. Others include replacing chemicals with organic and biodynamic sprays, (like horn silica preparation) and planting cover crops (like peas, marigolds and crimson clover) between the vines.
More honey, more flowers, more wine… win, win, win.