Charlie caught up with Melissa Brown during one of his ‘Introduction to Biodynamics’ workshops that Melissa was hosting at her Biodynamic vineyard in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia. Melissa’s dedication to working in partnership with nature, to produce extraordinary wine and to teach her customers the principles & practices of organic farming is inspiring. This interview is a must for anyone wanting to understand how working with nature & focusing on soil is the key to regenerative farming.
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Melissa lives on farm at Gemtree Wines near McLaren Vale at base of Mt Lofty Ranges | Her connection to that land is deep and important to her and her business | Her grandfather established the vineyard in the year Melissa was born | Mike her husband and winemaker started to make wine from their own grapes when he joined the business | Vineyard now Just over 300 ac | In 2005 Melissa started to look at organic practices | A visit to a health retreat on Kangaroo Island started her on a journey of awareness for human and environmental health. Her father was nervous about relying on Biodynamics for fertility and also the removal of chemical use for the control of weeds | David Paxton of Paxtons wine inspired Melissa | Melissa had an attitude of application and experimentation to transition to using organic and Biodynamic principles in the vineyard | Sheep are very important for weed management within the vines | Spring and autumn Biodynamic preparation sprays are of Horn manure 500 and Cow Manure Concentrate (when moon descending), and 501 (when moon ascending) | ‘Gemtree eco trail’ has been created by Melissa and Mike, which involved the planting of 50,000 native trees in an existing habitat corridor. They have also established an interactive area and tours near cellar door to demonstrate Biodynamics | Gemtree support a Koala rescue program and have a special enclosure for rescued koalas to be rehabilitated | Melissa puts poor food quality down to the current poor physical, spiritual and mental state of mankind
Melissa Brown – interview w/ Melissa ( www.younggunofwine.com)
Gemtree Wines – family owned & operated winery, McLaren Vale, SA
Tasting Australia – annual event . 2022 dates are : 29th April – 8th May
Cullen Wines – biodynamic winery, WA
Paxton Wines – David Paxton is the founder & owner. Winery, McLaren Vale, SA
Maria Thun – information on Maria Thun, her books & calendar