It is a vineyard where environmental conditions are taken care of and ecology is respected, with soil management as a central part of the system because it is a complex and living resource that must be protected and maintained to ensure its long-term stability. It is only fertilized with organic fertilizers and natural materials that do not damage the balance of the environment; weeds are specially treated and controlled manually – even with herbicides – and diseases are fundamentally managed through biological control and prevention.
Our vines are unaware of synthetic herbicides, pesticides and insecticides or toxic products of any nature. Due to this conception of viticulture, organic agriculture increases the need for manpower and is a very important source of work for the rural population.
VIÑAS DE ALTO SALVADOR does not use industrial synthesis chemicals that are foreign to biotic processes.
We only fertilize the soil with organic products and green fertilizers. In the vineyard we plant legumes like vicia sativa and lucerne, because they fix the nitrogen of the atmosphere in nodules that form in the roots and they become very important sources of nitrogen and organic matter for the vine. We also use barley, whose roots deepen in the soil allowing a good aeration. Green manure also controls erosion and weeds and serves as habitat for beneficial insects such as the vaquitas de San Antonio which feed on aphids that damage the vine.
Every year we bury the branches cut in the pruning of the vineyard to return to the soil the organic components of the plants that we do not use and favor the recycling of nutrients.
We perform the least amount of mechanical work in the vineyard so that the soil does not become compacted and becomes impermeable because when it occurs, the roots have difficulty breathing and growing, water drains instead of infiltrating, erosion erodes the most fertile layers and generates the loss of essential nutrients for the vine.
We never use herbicides. Thanks to the management of green manures, we have replaced the noxious weeds with the spontaneous ones we want, which are highly positive for our ecosystem and can be controlled without the use of chemicals harmful to human health and the environment.
Our work is fundamentally based on biological control and prevention.
For example, in the middle of the vineyard we have an agro-meteorological station which, through a computer program, determines the possibility of occurrence of the most common grape diseases produced by fungi: peronospora, oidium and botrytis. To develop, these fungi need adequate moisture and temperature. By detecting the existence of environmental conditions conducive to the appearance of fungi, our instruments allow us to prevent these diseases by means of the most suitable ecological and organic measures.
An issue of great importance is the use of pure, uncontaminated irrigation water.
In our farms the water comes only from two sources:
1. The superficial irrigation, with water from the melting snow of the Cordillera de Los Andes, which circulates in our vineyards through water irrigation channels, covered with stone extracted from the beds of the rivers of the Andes to avoid that the water is lost before arriving to the vines, which are their destination.
2. A ground water that we choose for its exceptional level of purity and optimal quality –which we access through a 300 m drill of depth– formed by the same water of the Mountain range that infiltrates from the high mountain and arrives underground to our zone.
Both farms are also carefully insulated with forest curtains and vegetable barriers from any other source of contamination.
The grapes are harvested from the early hours of the morning to avoid the high temperatures and are carefully moved to the winery for winemaking.