We operate under the "No Till" model of farming, allowing plants and fungi to spread undisturbed over the years. Each species adds to the delicate balance of our soils and although we may not know the function of everything that lives on our vineyard floor, we trust that Nature knows best.
This is the Trout Lily. She normally grows deep in the woods—particular to Beech and Maple—and yet has chosen to carpet large areas of our Sauvignon Blanc. They typically favor forests' undisturbed soil, which is rich with biodiversity in the form of bacteria and fungi. In turn, these micros create a relationship between plants and trees that scientists are now coming to understand. If this delicate balance goes undisturbed, colonies of Trout Lily can live over 100 years. The oldest colony on record was dated to be over 300 years old.
For us to see Trout Lily on our vineyard floor is a testament to our sustainable practices. When we forgo the use of herbicides and tilling we protect species like this one.
The Same can be said about the mushrooms we find throughout the year. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of extensive fungal networks that are extremely sensitive to chemicals and soil disruptions. These networks, know as mycorrhizal fungi, have close relationships with the plants around them, engaging in a mutually beneficial exchange of nutrients. This connection adds to the vitality of our vines in immeasurable ways.
Signs like these are always a welcome reminder that were on the right path.