Regenerative Viticulture Series

Do you want to be regenerative, & build soil health and biodiversity on the land?

Do you want to reduce chemical inputs, improve profitability and build resilience in your vineyard?

Are you curious about, or already experimenting with regenerative agriculture techniques, or keen to have a go and see what it’s all about?

This series of conversations is for you! In 2021, we brought together three world-leading practitioners – Nicole Masters, Ben Taylor-Davies and Dan Rinke – who are revolutionising our understanding of agriculture today, and specifically applying that thinking to vineyards. This is the beginning of a conversation and a learning journey with wide-reaching benefits across the industry, helping to build ecology, profitability and beauty on vineyards in the UK and beyond. This is what we are committed to at Vidacycle.

Building Soil Health in your Vineyard: Nicole Masters in conversation with Abby Rose

Nicole Masters is an independent agroecologist, systems thinker, educator and director of Integrity Soils. Her book ‘For the Love of Soil’ showcases examples of the principles and tools that producers she works with are using to regenerate their soils. With over 20 years of experience in regenerative agriculture, she is recognized as a leading consultant and practitioner on the topic of soil health. Find out more at Integrity Soils and sign up for her Soil Health Foundations course here.

In this session, Nicole shares a story of how a proactive ‘soils first’ approach has revolutionised the triple bottom line of one vineyard she works closely with, moving them from heavy disease burdens and dwindling profits, to the most economically efficient vineyard in New Zealand, and winner of the green development award for their management – win win! In conversation with our co-founder Abby Rose we hear Nicole’s insights into what it means to take a soil first approach, and how you might apply this in your vineyard.

Regenerative Experiments on a UK Vineyard: RegenBen in conversation with Abby Rose

Ben Taylor Davies (RegenBen) is an agronomist turned farmer, turned regenerative agriculture obsessive! Ben is keen to put the fun back into farming and to share everything he has learnt along the way. His ethos is to use biological, peer-reviewed methods to produce crops in a way that doesn’t require huge amounts of artificial input. Ben is BASIS and FACTs certified – it was through doing his Nuffield Scholarship in 2016 that he had his ‘eureka’ moment, and realised regenerative agriculture was a vitally different way of understanding farming.

Ben has his own mixed farm in Herefordshire which includes a small vineyard planted by his dad. In conversation with Vidacycle’s Abby Rose, Ben shares some of his experiments in his vineyard, and discusses what regenerative viticulture practices might look like in the UK.

The Practicalities of Regenerative Viticulture: Dan Rinke in conversation with Luke Spalding

Dan Rinke consults vineyards, orchards, wineries and cideries looking for support in converting to regenerative farming and low intervention wine making, with Art+Science+Cider+Wine Agronomy. Dan’s winegrowing career began with university studies in viticulture and plant science. After working at several vineyards in California, Dan took the position as Winegrower (manager/winemaker) at Johan Vineyards, an 88-acre certified organic/biodynamic, dry farmed, and minimally tilled vineyard/winery in Oregon. Dan speaks internationally about implementing regenerative approaches to improve the ecology and profitability of the vineyard.

In this session, Dan chats to Luke Spalding, manager of the beautiful Everflyht Vineyard in Sussex, to discuss on the ground implementation of regenerative viticulture methods, digging in to some of the practicalities of reducing chemical inputs, the benefits of reducing cultivation, and what the future of spraying might look like.