Case Study: Albury Organic Vineyard

Case Study: Albury Organic Vineyard

Case Study: Albury Organic Vineyard 1920 2560 Sectormentor

Sectormentor  – Albury Organic Vineyard

Albury Vineyard is a producer of delicious wines from their grapes in the Surrey Hills – where they are committed to implementing sustainable and regenerative farming techniques, including reducing their use of chemical herbicides & fungicides, and improving biodiversity. We are proud to have supported Albury in fulfilling on their regenerative goals with Sectormentor for the past 4 years.

The team at Albury manage three sites, one is biodynamic, one organic and one conventional – all three are certified sustainable. Albury are one of the founder members of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain (SWGB), and Albury viticulturist Alex Valsecchi and vineyard manager Dominic Travers have been leading the SWGB Viticulture working group from the beginning – so they were perfectly placed to be the first vineyard to go through the SWGB audit process in 2020.

Alex and her team have always monitored many aspects of the vineyard, as in her experience this is a vital part of being as sustainable as possible; “how can you be sustainable if you don’t know what’s going on out there, and how things are changing year to year – you need data to support more sustainable decision making and optimise your farming system.”

Sectormentor has enabled Alex and Dominic to easily understand where they spend their time and save weeks of work:
This year Albury are due for their second SWGB audit. During this interim, SWGB have developed an online repository where all members can submit their evidence, making the whole process as easy as possible for farmers and auditors.
Alex shared how vital the Work Report in Sectormentor has been for their understanding of where they spend their time, and the ease of then reporting this for SWGB.
“We do all our work reporting and vineyard maintenance diary in Sectormentor now. It’s perfect for our size operation. All our spray records are in there and we can easily export whichever operation or treatment we are looking at, whether we are trying to understand something for ourselves or we need it for organic or biodynamic certification.
For SWGB it’s brilliant, we just download the report at the end of the season and it’s done. I am actually looking forward to our SWGB audit this year as I think we will be able to fill in the repository in a number of hours rather than weeks.”

Sectormentor helps Dominic and Alex streamline working together across multiple sites

Alex was clear that although Sectormentor makes the SWGB reporting much easier, the real value of Sectormentor goes far beyond that:

“The app really helps us have everything unified across the board. Before we were feeding all our information into spreadsheets, sharing that with the team, it was a bit mix and match. Now we have a unified system, where Dominic and I can both record what’s happening as we go, even if we are at different sites from each other. It will also make onboarding our new team member so easy.”

Alex also finds the reports on Sectormentor provide useful and valuable on the ground insights

“I really like that it has made life easier and simplified things for us, but the most important thing about Sectormentor is that it is not just about record keeping, it simplifies that, yes, but then it actually makes that information useful in the reports. That is so helpful.”

This is certainly a trend we have seen at Vidacycle; the most profitable, ecological and beautiful vineyards really value and understand the importance of monitoring key metrics, so they will prioritise taking the time to collect that data throughout the year whenever possible.

They can then take the next step, which is to learn from that data and feed it back into their decision making. Many of the reports on Sectormentor have been made in response to working with brilliant viticulturists, and learning what is the most powerful way for you to visualise the data:

“I think what makes Sectormentor so unique and useful is that you aren’t just making software for vineyards, you also run a vineyard and know what tools we really need to make the vineyard work.”

Alex is excited for the season ahead. They have also recently updated their sprayer and mower, other vital tools that will allow them to do their work more efficiently and sustainably.

We’re looking forward to continuing to learn from Albury’s journey, and supporting the monitoring of key vineyard metrics for audit. If you are a SWGB, Organic or Biodynamic certified vineyard, are transitioning to regenerative or are just nerdy about data and want to learn from what you are recording in your vineyard – get in touch to arrange a call – we’d be happy to chat about how we can support you with Sectormentor.

How can Sectormentor support your vineyard?