WSET Studies – Viticulture Practices

1. Sustainable Agriculture

– Man-made chemicals are not prohibited but their use is restricted.

– In-depth understanding of the lifecycle of pests and monitoring weather patterns/forecasts to predict and prevent pest or disease outbreak before it happens.

– Integrated pest management – predators of certain pests are encouraged to live in the vineyard to control pest populations naturally.

– Vineyard biodiversity is essential – avoiding a monoculture of vines – habitats for predators and nutrients for vines when mowed and ploughed into the soil.

2. Organic Agriculture

– Encompasses many of the same concepts as sustainable agriculture but only a very limited number of the more traditional treatments against pests and diseases is allowed.

– Accreditation is required for an organic certification body.

3. Biodynamic Agriculture

– Adopts organic practices but also incorporates philosophy and cosmology.

– Vineyard soil is seen as part of a connected system with the Planet, air and other planets.

– Practitioners adapt grape growing practices to coincide with the cycles of the planets, moon and stars.

– Homeopathic remedies called ͚preparations͛ are used to fertilise the soil, treat diseases and ward off pests.

– Certification bodies exist.

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