For my family it has always been important to work with nature and not against it, so no herbicides, no pesticides. Sometimes it costs us a whole crop, like in 2014, but overall our vines and olives are doing great. And to see and to work with the intelligence of nature makes our work beautiful. We depend on the insects like the ladybug and earwig to protect the vines against aphids for example. They also eat other insects that have soft bodies, like mites, white flies, and scale insects – all of which are pests of plants. Ladybugs mainly eat aphids, so we’re always happy to see ladybugs! To attract insects you find plants and trees next to our fields. Besides water, plants take also the nutrients from the soil. Nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and also nitrogen is a very important component for a plant. Nitrogen stimulates the growth of plants. To make sure that our vines find the right amount of nitrogen in the soil we grow field beans in our vineyards. The field bean has a nice root structure that is good for the soil and they provide nitrogen to the soil. To provide the vineyard and the olive groves with all the necessary elements we use organic fertilizer pellets. With organic fertilization we retain a healthy, living soil. Such soil is full of beneficial bacteria, a jumble of good fungi and all kinds of other life. Together they form the living soil. A living soil is resilient and is able to suppress diseases and pests.Chemical means are therefore not required. Even more so, chemistry makes the emergence of a stable living soil impossible. So it is thanks to all the life that the soil remains healthy and, in turn, is able to provide the crops to feed with the necessary nutrients. Those nutrients are indeed the result of the degradation processes by soil organisms. Plants that interact with the soil are strong and resilient. They have a strong root system allowing them also to better cope with droughts. Organic European quality mark On our wine and oil you find the European organic quality mark. But what does that mean exactly? In short: European Union (EU) regulations on organic farming are designed to provide a clear structure for the production of organic goods across the whole of the EU. This is to satisfy consumer demand for trustworthy organic products whilst providing a fair marketplace for producers, distributors and marketers. Organic farming is an agricultural method that aims to produce food using natural substances and processes. This means that organic farming tends to have a limited environmental impact as it encourages • the responsible use of energy and natural resources • the maintenance of biodiversity • preservation of regional ecological balances • enhancement of soil fertility • maintenance of water quality The specific European Union (EU) organic farming rules cover agricultural products encompass every stage of the production process, from seeds to the final processed food. Specific rules are set for organic wine-making, including a technical definition of organic wine which is consistent with the organic objectives and principles. Organic wine has to be made with organic grapes and yeast, however, there are a number of other restrictions that also apply. These include • a prohibition on the use of sorbic acid and desulphurisation • the level of sulphites in organic wine must be lower than their conventional equivalent (depending on the residual sugar content) Twice a year we are checked if we still abide the rules of organic farming every step of the way in making our products; from seed to wine..