Horses used for vineyard tasks

Workhorse: Seresin Estate's new six-year-old clydesdale Bill helps spray biodynamic solution among the vines at the Wairau Valley vineyard. He is driven by Phil Amberger, who is assisted by his brother Ron, both of Nelson
Workhorse: Seresin Estate's new six-year-old clydesdale Bill helps spray biodynamic solution among the vines at the Wairau Valley vineyard. He is driven by Phil Amberger, who is assisted by his brother Ron, both of Nelson

Two additions to Seresin Estate dug in with the rest of the team to spread a special solution which embodies the philosophy of the Marlborough vineyard.

Brothers Bill and Tom are six-year-old clydesdale horses, bought by Seresin six weeks ago. The horses were given their first work in the vineyard on Wednesday, pulling the spray machines for a biodynamic solution which is scattered in the vineyard to keep it fertile and the ecosystem in balance.

Nelson man Phil Amberger sourced the horses from Christchurch earlier in the year and has trained them for Seresin.

Mr Amberger and his brother, Ron, made the trip to Blenheim to drive the horses during the spraying. Phil said the horses had done beautifully.

They covered about five hectares of the Home Vineyard, while the remaining 50ha was covered by tractor-led sprayers and people on flat-bed trucks and farm vehicles.

Seresin Estate manager Colin Ross said the biodynamic solution was an important part of the vineyard's cycle and employees from all over the winery's operations took part.

Accountants and general managers rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside vineyard workers and cellar door hosts, he said.

The biodynamic solution is made up of manure which has been buried in cow horns for six months, dug up and then mixed with warm water.

The solution is full of live organisms and was mixed by hand to create a vortex, which was then broken and reversed, he said.

"Once upon a time human beings had a very close connection with the earth, now we're quite detached from it. This is a way the people who are involved in the farm can put their heart and soul back into the land."

Seresin Estate is a certified organic vineyard and is managed on the principles of biodynamics, which has a small but growing following in Marlborough.

The Marlborough Express