Let us introduce those who help us make our wine

Let us introduce those who help us make our wine

Esporão Colheita is a wine crafted from grapes grown at Herdade do Esporão, under organic farming practices. Therefore, the natural elements are our winemakers’ key allies to create this wine’s identity and flavor. The chickens eat insects and our sheep graze the weeds. Each has a role, and all are fundamental. At Nature’s pace, this is how we make unique wines, and build a balanced and happy ecosystem.

Discover each and everyone that plays a daily role.

quem nos ajuda são as galinhas
Our chickens wander daily through our fields with one mission – to help control vine pests. As well as being elegant and alert, these animals have a “hearty beak”, feeding off insects that are harmful to vine growth.
Our sheep play a fundamental role to control spontaneous vegetation in the vineyards during the vegetative rest periods, and in the plots adjoining the vineyards to prevent forest fires. Their morning strolls are crucial to maintain our soils and crops.
Five bat species live at Herdade do Esporão, feeding off moths that are harmful to vines. In order to keep these small mammals close, we built shelters for them throughout the vineyards. In return, the bats help us fight plagues in a natural and sustained manner.
Auxiliary insects – ladybirds
Auxiliary insects are a natural and renewable resource that prevents harmful pests from spreading to our crops. A valuable contribution to keep diseases from our vines, since each auxiliary insect has its role in the ecosystem, and the final outcome results from the action and interaction of all these organisms.

Ladybirds are the most familiar auxiliary organisms among farmers and one of the most common at Herdade do Esporão, not only due to their pleasant and colorful appearance but also due to their function. They are able to eat approximately a hundred insects each day.

quem nos ajuda são também as sementeiras
Planting cover crops that form dividing lines (green cover) in our vineyards is one of the most important parts of our agricultural activities. The principal purpose of this technique is to increase soil fertility, decrease erosion, retain auxiliary organisms and build biodiversity.

The green cover of the dividing lines entails planting cover crops, letting these develop temporarily or permanently, on all or part of the vineyard’s surface. A vineyard’s green cover can be permanent or temporary, planted with a single or various plant species, using the flora that grows in the site.

At Herdade do Esporão, after each harvest, we assess which seeds to use. In the spring, our vineyards are filled with color from the clovers, bean plants and spontaneous vegetation.

Organisms in the soil – worms
In the soil at Herdade do Esporão, we can find one of the organisms primarily responsible for soil movement and nutrient cycling processes – worms. These build galleries through their movement, soil ingestion, and organic waste. This activity maximizes aeration and the water absorption rate in the soil. The worms’ excrements modify the soil structure and fertility, which is crucial to increase its sustainability.

Some worms can be environmental bioindicators, an important tool to evaluate impacts on ecosystems.

quem nos ajuda é o composto
All organic by-products generated by our activity (stems, wine pulp, olive leaves, olive pomace and pruning waste) are used to build a compost heap.

In the end, this creates a compound, produced naturally, rich in nutrients that are essential to our crops and help us maintain soil fertility, while also recycling all our agricultural surplus.

Creating compost helps us eliminate seeds and other bodies that spread weeds and pathogens, and speeds up the transformation of matter into nutrients for our plants. In terms of soil, compost improves drainage and aeration, stimulates biological activity, increases water reserves and nutrients, and makes the earth easier to farm.

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