Gen-Z, the industry-driven project to plan and plant vineyards using the latest technology, research and innovation, and co-ordinated by VinPro, is gaining momentum.

The vineyard of the future depends on how we plan and execute certain vineyard actions today. The essence of project Gen-Z is to establish demonstration plots in all South Africa’s wine regions. By using alternative cover crops, which have been used mainly in the grain industry, the first seeds have been sown on 14 demo sites in seven regions from Bonnievale to Lutzville.

A total of 16 cover crop mixes with biofumigation, legumes and grains will add value to the soil through nitrogen fixation and by adding organic matter. The cover crops can also result in savings for producers as they are drought-resistant and have a short lifespan, which can save on water and diesel when cutting them down. These cover crops will be revisited in September to demonstrate which work best in the various regions.

This is another example of how producers, VinPro’s regional viticulture consultants, seed companies (seed was donated by Barenbrug and Agricol) and producers work together to create a more sustainable future. Watch this space!

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