Melissa Brown


Biodynamic Viticulturist  

melissa brown  

I have a real consciousness about the environment and living healthy and clean. When dad ran the vineyards he was a business man, not a ‘greeny’. So, when I joined the business I introduced some changes. We started with organics and then very soon after, we went biodynamic.

Biodynamics is about being in tune with your land, and in tune with nature. It’s about acknowledging that there is a relationship with what’s happening between the sun, the moon and the planets, and with what’s happening here on earth, and timing certain farming operations to fit with that to build soil fertility.

 

Gemtree is more than a business, it’s a lifestyle and it’s a philosophy about the way we do things. To me, that means a lot more than the money side of it.

A brief history

I never planned to join the family vineyard management business. I completed a Diploma in business and went travelling. When I got back and told dad I wanted to give it a go he told me I wouldn’t last 3 weeks… that was 1994 and I met Mike in the same year.

After some time learning the ropes, and studying to become a qualified viticulturist, I saw that there was a better way to do things. It didn’t make any sense that I was planting my own organic veggies at home and doing things differently in the vineyard. So I established a few organic trial blocks and after a lot of trial and error we started to see a lot more life in the vines.

Andrew and Mike both came to share my vision for sustainability in the vineyards and we formed the Gemtree brand on the same beliefs. I was determined to convert all of our vineyards. I learnt about biodynamics in 2007 and introduced some of those farming techniques while Mike started experimenting with biodynamic wines and alternative winemaking practices to achieve the quality Gemtree wines we have today. We finally achieved organic certification in 2011.