We make our compost during the winter, spreading it in the vineyard when the earth begins to warm up again in the spring. To draw an analogy, we might compare the action of the compost to the effect of yeast in bread-making. We add a small quantity of this catalyst to the earth, and it makes a big difference by helping the vines to absorb nutrients from the soil. The compost helps break down organic materials already present in the soil, which would otherwise be difficult for the vines to take up.
Our compost is made with cow dung, which is fermented and enhanced with a few biodynamic ingredients (a preparation made using yarrow, camomile, nettles, oak bark, dandelions and valerian). We spread this compost when it is still 'fresh', i.e. after only a little fermentation, allowing the dynamic processes to continue in the soil. We spread compost over a third of the vineyard every year, rotating the sections treated year by year.