Compost Under Vines Trial (Macedon Ranges)

The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA, in partnership with Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association, GrapeLinks and Veolia, and is undertaking a three-year trial into the financial and environmental benefits of urban green waste mulch under vines in the Macedon Ranges.

The concept is based on trials undertaken on the Mornington Peninsula between 2015 and 2018, which saw positive grape quality results from pinot noir with recycled composted mulch under vine.

The project is supported by the Victorian Government, AORA and Macedon Ranges Vignerons Association.

Methodology

Three vineyards in the project area have received AS 4454 certified composted mulch to cover a strip under 25 vines 1 metre wide and 7.5cm deep.

Bunchzone and soil temperatures will be measured hourly with electronic data loggers and compared to those in a control row with standard practices (brushcutting under vine). 

Grape quality traits from 20 bunches will be assessed in a laboratory at each annual harvest, for all three years.

About the Macedon Ranges

The Macedon Ranges vineyards are the coldest in mainland Australia and produce outstanding cool climate wines.

These highly labour intensive vineyards at 500-600 metres need a reliable method to increase the time vine roots and grapes can spend at beneficial temperatures with cost effective and efficient management practices.

It is expected that in mulched vines, warmer roots and bunch zones in spring and cooler conditions in summer will increase grape and wine quality.  Moreover, non-herbicide weed suppression under vine is a goal for many vineyards in the region. 

Project updates