It was a big day at Altos Las Hormigas, for some of us the first day of hands-on work with Alan York and a full immersion in biodynamic viticulture.
For the viticultural team biodynamic farming is an exciting approach to their job, which they have embraced with curiosity, interest and dedication. Alan’s enthusiasm and hands-on approach is addicting to be around.
Part of Alan’s visit involved checking in on our progress from initiatives we committed to after his previous visit. Our “estate” compost was stamped approved, not bad for beginners!
El Picasso, our new four legged helper was also approved and promoted on the field.
Some practices were praised “as is” like our organic weeding method that we’ve always used….
El Picaso showing his prowess. He was put right to work, tasked with pruning the vines…
Biodynamic viticulture is a fascinating concept in the modern age of winegrowing. It asks the farmer to listen to his primitive, traditional roots, despite the advancements of technology and science. A playful moment between Hugo and Alan is captured, showing a juxtaposion of modern and traditional ideas.
“A Chilean, an American, an Italian and an Argentine walk into a vineyard….” sounds like the start of a joke, but in fact it’s our reality at Altos. Next on the agenda was to survey the state of the current vineyards.
We hope we are never too proud or stubborn to admit our obstacles and short comings. Alan explains that nursing a vineyard back to health, and back to a self-sustaining, biodynamic eco-sphere is a work of patience, or a job for ants, as we like to say.
In honor of our dedication to this slow transition, the whole team gathered for a shot, what an enlightening day at Altos!
We didn’t stick around too long, as a storm was quickly gathering over the Andes. Mother Earth wanted to welcome Alan to Mendoza as well.
No harm was done to the vineyard, but all of us were left drenched when we realized there was no way to out run the rain. It was an invigorating walk back.