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    Hort Compost


Azwood and Biostart have had a long-standing relationship in which their products can greatly improve soil health and in turn increase yield with compost. Azwood was approached by Biostart to apply compost as part of a trial with Mudhouse Vineyard and in 2022 held a soil health field day in Marlborough to discuss the results.


Mudhouse Vineyard, a product of Accolade Wines, is situated west of Blenheim in the shelter of a steep-sided triangular hill called the 'Delta'. This feature protects the vineyard from the frosts in spring and the different aspects of the slope produce fruit which makes for exciting blending options. Their soil is a mix of a variety of alluvial free-draining soils to a more clay/ loam soil as found in the Southern Hills or a silt/loam combination as located nearer to Cloudy Bay and the sea.

A trial began with Biostart, a team of scientists, advisors and producers who solve farming problems together with a range of products to increase organic matter and improve soil health. The aim of this trial was to see if BioStart’s soil biostimulant, Mycorrcin, and foliar biostimulant, Foliacin, could improve vine health and wine quality on a premium Pinot noir block. 

"We believe that long-term farm health and productivity involves nurturing and harnessing the beneficial life in our soil, plants and animals." - Biostart

Although the numbers from the lab analysis were very similar, the difference in the wine was remarkable between the untreated and treated. The untreated wine had unripe characteristics and tasted as if they were younger and picked earlier, whereas the treated block had more density and more weight in the mouth with the impression of maturity. Overall it was a much more complete wine.


Accolade Wines


Due to heavy clay soils in Marlborough, Mudhouse Vineyard wanted to increase organic matter which would enable air access to the roots and expand the root structure for better nutrient intake.

Heavy clay soils are packed tightly together, resulting in poor drainage, slow water infiltration, and limited air circulation. These factors can affect vine growth and grape production. However, using compost can be an effective solution to mitigate some of these challenges and improve the overall health of the vineyard.


A symbiotic relationship between the plant's roots and the mycorrhizal fungi provides nutrients to each other which expands the root mass of the plant. The bigger the root mass the more nutrients the plant cant receive and in turn, you will see bigger/greener leaves, longer canes, improved canopy health and better-quality fruit.

After Biostart completed the application of their products we spread compost directly under the vines so it could work its way into the soil and open it up. This provides sufficient air and moisture to the roots as well as supporting organic matter growth and microbe activity.

It was predicted that in conjunction with Biostart's products, we could greatly improve soil health, increase the quality of their wine and increase their yield with compost long term. 


In May 2022 a soil health field day was held at Mudhouse Vineyard to see the results first-hand. After an analysis was done, Biostart concluded that after the trial there was one more bunch per vine than the untreated area and an increase in the bunch weight. The yield increase was due to there being more bunches per vine, not larger bunches. 

Read their full analysis

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