Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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compost, the name given to the product of microbial action on organic wastes under controlled conditions in piles or windrows. Compost can be created from winery waste, typically pomace, and it may be mixed for example with animal manures and sometimes with municipal garden waste, which encourages microbial action and resultant high temperatures. The compost must be turned regularly to maintain aerobic conditions and be kept at a temperature of 55 ºC/131 º F for at least three days to destroy pathogens and weed seeds. Compost is applied to vineyard soils and, being rich in organic matter and nutrients, improves vine growth. However, compost making and distribution requires handling large quantities of material, and for this reason most vine-growers around the world use manufactured fertilizers. The use of compost and other organic soil amendments is, however, an integral part of organic and biodynamic viticulture.