Here you will find information on each of the practices we consider are useful in farming vines regeneratively. We hope these pages give you the information you need to become more regenerative. We've also included a glossary as there is a lot of new terminology. Remember to introduce changes incrementally and with professional guidance. And, if you can take baseline data and measure outcomes from more regeneratively farmed vines, we'd love to hear your results.

Monitoring soil health

Introduction A fundamental principle of RV is good soil health, therefore it is essential to monitor: Soil samples should be taken for all the blocks which have different conditions or are subject to different management operations. They should be sent to specialist soil sampling labs for analysis. Regular testing should be undertaken of samples taken […]

Soil organic matter

Introduction An important biological property is the soil organic matter (SOM) content. SOM is the foodstuff for a large variety of soil organisms ranging upwards in size from bacteria, archaea, and fungi (the microorganisms) to earthworms, ants, termites, and wood lice. This hierarchy of organisms constitutes a soil food web. As SOM is consumed by […]

Interrow Tillage

Introduction Tillage exposes the soil to the air so that it breaks down and enables CO2 to be released back into the atmosphere. Deeper tillage leads to more carbon lost to the atmosphere. It also damages the microbes in the soil and breaks up the mycorrhizal relationships between the plant roots and the beneficial fungi […]

Undervine Tillage

Introduction Many tools now exist to manage the undervine strip mechanically, and without resorting to herbicides, and these all have their advantages and disadvantages. An intervine plough that turns the soil may be the most effective in removing weed roots, but will cause the most damage to soil biology. Tools that cut weed roots without […]


Introduction Compaction in vineyards is a common problem, frequently caused by the regular passage of heavy machinery. Compacted soils perform poorly, waterlog easily, and do not support healthy microbial populations. The best way to avoid compacted soils is to develop a healthy soil biology, and use plants with deep root systems, and encourage earthworms. In […]

Soil/ground cover

Introduction One of the key principles of regenerative viticulture is to avoid bare soil – keeping the ground covered (see cover crops) also reduces soil temperature during hot periods. Living ground cover also provides habitat and biodiversity within a vineyard. Furthermore, photosynthesis captures carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A higher percentage of the ground covered […]

Cover crops

Introduction Some of the key principles of regenerative agriculture are: Cover crops / ground cover can help achieve these objectives. Plants in the vineyard (which can be naturally generated and/or sown cover crops) can be grown within vine row alleys, in the under-vine strip, in headlands, and surrounding the vineyard. They can offer multiple ‘ecosystem […]

Vine fertility/nutrition and composting

Introduction The annual removal of crop and prunings also removes nutrients from the vineyard, depleting their availability within the ecosystem. Some vineyards rely on synthetic fertilisers to ‘fix’ issues related to nutrition. However, reliance solely on these applications creates a short-term feedback loop that can: In such cases, it becomes necessary to provide increasingly further […]

Animal Integration

Introduction There is great potential with animals to accelerate soil health and regeneration through planned, strategic grazing management. Livestock also have the potential to reduce machinery movements throughout the vineyard at certain times of the season. This can reduce costs and time spent doing tasks, but it also limits the damage to soil from machinery […]

Water use

Introduction Irrigation of vineyards is a common practice in almost all wine-producing countries worldwide, although it is (currently) forbidden by law in many traditional European wine regions. It is particularly common at the commercial end of the wine sector, with irrigation necessary to produce the larger crop loads required. At the fine wine end of […]

Herbicide use

Introduction The RVF believes that herbicides are negative for soil health, and the goal of a fully regenerative system in vineyards should be to work towards establishing a system where herbicides are no longer used. However, transitioning from a system that relies on herbicide use can take a long time, and on balance, the use […]

Fungal control

Introduction The use of synthetic fungicides to control fungal diseases unfortunately also damages the fungal networks in the soil that RV relies on to increase vine resilience to disease. Copper is one alternative that is widely used. However, it is also detrimental to soil health as a high proportion ends up in the soil, where […]

Insect control

Introduction Insecticides are damaging because they are usually indiscriminate and kill off the beneficial predatory insects that could otherwise control unwanted infestations. They also have a high carbon footprint associated with their manufacture and application. Many vineyard managers have found insecticides to be the easiest of the pesticides to stop using in their vineyards, and […]

Certification level

Introduction Being certified by a sustainability scheme is not a requirement of regenerative viticulture. However, certification schemes are highly recommended as they: Individual countries have their own sustainability schemes. The requirements vary widely. Organic/Bio/Eco and Biodynamic are highly regarded certification programs globally. They have much in common with regenerative viticulture. There are now regenerative accreditation […]


Introduction Biodiversity – the variety and variability of animals, plants, and micro-organisms at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels – is necessary to sustain key functions of the ecosystem, its structure, and processes. Biodiversity takes into consideration the complex interactions between the flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life) inside this natural ecosystem. The more […]


Introduction Agroforestry in viticulture, also known as vitiforestry, combines viticultural practices with the cultivation of trees and shrubs. The advisability of incorporating trees into the vineyard depends a lot on the specifics of each site, but the presence of trees has been shown to make the vineyard system more resilient to the extremes of climate […]

Ecosystem design

Introduction Ecosystem design is the intentional, strategic planning and creation of your vineyard to form part of a wider ecological system which is both sustainable and resilient. It considers the interaction of all the living organisms and their environment: community, watershed/natural water cycles, and bio-region. The vineyard and its wider environment can then become a […]


Aerobic conditions Soil with porosity that enables air to move through it. These conditions are unfavourable to anaerobic organisms, the ones that cause most disease Source: An Introduction to Soil Biology — Humankind Oregon Agroecology The application of ecological concepts and principles in farming, working to balance the relationships between plants, animals, people and the […]