Hartenberg’s Paradigm Shifting Viticulture!

The Future of African Viticulture?

Could it be that the best defence against desertification and lifeless soils is a whole bunch MORE grazing animals? And if so, doesn’t this run counter to everything we’ve ever been taught about livestock, and the causes of global desertification?

Hartenberg Estate and their viticulturist, Willem Joubert, may well be the very first team outside of North America to successfully implement a model of High Density Controlled Grazing developed by grazier Allan Savory.

The Hartenberg team, based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, have adapted Savory’s technique, using Ankole and Dexter cattle to graze between vines, triggering what appears to be remarkably close to a self-sustaining cycle of vineyard management that:
1. Reduces the farm’s carbon footprint,
2. Increases biodiversity in the soil,
3. Increases the biomass of cover crop produced (even in seasons of low rainfall)
4. Provides enough plant material to feed the growing herd of cattle And there’s more!
Early tests point to the theory that it might actually improve grape quality and therefore wine quality as well, which is great news for people who love wine, but don’t have the effort to stoked about soil.

More info on Allan Savory and Joel Salatin

Here is a great little TEDx talk by Allan Savory talking about his paradigm-shifting work. 

And if you find it hard to believe the first time around, here is a similar idea from grazier Joel Salatin.

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