In order to naturally strengthen and enrich the soils of our vineyards, at Palo Alto we transform pomace and stalks from our winemaking processes into compost, a natural fertilizer that improves the quality of our soils.
Compost –or “solarizado”, according to its more technical name- is produced in “solarizado” fields. The pomace and stalks are stacked on these places forming mounds in rows 100 meters long. Subsequently, and using a tractor with an attached mixer (see images), this organic material is turned, cooling and oxygenating the rows, which inside can reach 58°C. “What we are looking for with this turning process, is that this organic material lowers its temperature and slowly degrades, so that we can then apply it to the vineyard. If we don't stir it, this material generates such high temperatures that it burns and loses its properties”, explains Cristóbal Correa, Administrator of the Lourdes vineyards.
This material is distributed in its entirety in the soil of our vineyards, prioritizing the weakest or shallowest soils, thus helping the plants to have a better substrate for their roots. “This ‘solarizado’ improves soil structure, which allows the roots of the vines to explore more and, by doing so, extract more nutrients,” adds Héctor Urzúa, chief winemaker of Palo Alto.
During 2020 we managed to reuse/recycle 98% of our waste. One way of achieving this has been through this “solarizado” process, which we carry out in our different vineyards. In this way, in Palo Alto we thank the land for the wine it gives us.