Using ducks in organic farming
Stellar Winery’s popular Running Duck range is named after the Indian Runner ducks that roam the vineyards, eating snails and other threats to the vines. Stellar has about 250 ducks with a few additional ducks that provide entertainment and a natural atmosphere at the cellar. The Indian Runner duck is used as natural pest control and allows Stellar Winery to steer clear of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. These highly effective pest-controllers are living proof that nature really does have all the answers.
“Stellar Winery came to the decision to use Indian Runner ducks in their organic farming method because they have an affinity for snails, so we decided to let them into our vineyards to help with pest control,” explains Klaas Coetzee, head winemaker, production manager and general arbiter of quality at Stellar Winery.
Stellar Winery’s vineyard process and approach differs from other more conventional wine farms. The producers are only allowed to use compost, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer that originates from rocks. According to Klaas, the team is not allowed to spray any chemical pesticides and herbicides which are prohibited by the EU certification body, Ecocert. Stellar Winery also had to get creative with pest control, which is why they use Indian Runner ducks in the vineyards to take care of snails. Organic farming is also more sustainable because it creates an ecosystem in the vineyard which is self-sufficient and self-regulating.
“Organic wine is not only healthier for your body, it is also better for the environment, because we use organic, responsible farming methods as opposed to conventional or outdated ones,” Klaas explains.
All Stellar Winery’s wines are vegan friendly, gluten free, certified as Fair for Life and made from organic grapes grown under the beautiful African sky. Stellar’s philosophy is based on the health and well-being of the soil, vineyards and the people who tend to them.