For the past 30 years we have farmed the land with a delicate hand. Long before it was fashionable, we approached the vineyard with strong ecological values, a focus on biodiversity and adopted biodynamic principles. The wonderful diversity of the property from its mature trees and native bush to the river bed and pasture land first attracted us to this special place. Churton is now home to our children and grandchildren. A herd of Red Devon cattle, swarms of bees, chickens and the family dogs also call this place home.
"Looking after the farm’s biology whether that’s above or below ground is part of Churton’s essence, from the soil microbiology to the birdlife and insects The many elements of the property combine to create the spiritual essence of Churton and the liquid expression of our place." Sam Weaver
The Churton Vineyard
Vines are the heart of Churton, covering 22 hectares of our 51-hectare farm. The vineyard is farmed biodynamically and is certified organic. We truly believe that biodynamic farming is the best farming philosophy to express the essence of our place.
The vineyard is planted according to the rise and fall topography of our undulating landscape. Covering the north-east facing hillside, the 17 vineyard blocks enjoy the gentle rays of the morning sun and avoid the harsh afternoon rays, allowing our vines to ease their grapes to the finish line, which creates wines of greater complexity and refinement.
While the New Zealand sun can be strong in summer, Marlborough is a cool climate for grape growing and frost can be issue. Lucky for us, the eastern boundary of the vineyard falls steeply away to the Omaka river, 50 metres below, allowing frosts to literally fall off a cliff.
While Marlborough’s alluvial valley floor is free draining, on our hillside, there is a deep layer of clay-based loess over the alluvial gravels. This denser soil type has a greater water-holding capacity and we aim to dry farm, if the season allows. The detailed nature of our farming results in healthy soils, healthy vines and delicious wines.
Biodynamics At Churton
We respect our place and want to safeguard it, leaving it stronger and more ecologically resilient for future generations.
Combining our love of life and the land, we adopted an integrated holistic farming system: modern-day biodynamics.
We think of biodynamics in terms of a hierarchy in our farming:
The foundation of agriculture: healthy soils and plants are invigorated with biodynamic preparations and fungi-rich compost. This develops and strengthens the general microbial ecology and the life of the soil.
The greater biological composition of the farm: the animals, inter-row plants, insects, vines and all that feed and encourage the microbial diversity, the introduction of nutrients and plant and animal competition. Churton is a polyculture not just a monoculture of vines
We believe the sun and moon have an effect on our lives, plants and wines. Timing is everything in farming and we work with the biodynamic calendar in planning our activities.
Great wine can only come from a place that is managed by people with a strong emotional and spiritual connection to the land.