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Online assessment tool launches to support and connect regenerative viticulturists

Stephen Cronk, chair of the Regenerative Viticulture Foundation (RVF). Image courtesy RVF

The Regenerative Viticulture Foundation (RVF), a UK charity dedicated to creating a sustainable future for vineyards, growers and the planet, has launched the RV Guide, an online self-assessment tool to help growers recognise the good practices they already have in their vineyards, gauge their level of integration and discover new practices.

The RV Guide includes information and resources on 16 practices which the RVF considers useful to farming vines regeneratively, with a focus on principles that are restorative rather than extractive and work with nature rather than against it. These include practices such as undervine tillage and cover cropping, integration of animals in the vineyard and use of herbicides.

“Interest in regenerative viticulture has exploded over the last year or so with more retailers coming on board and helping to drive demand,” said Stephen Cronk, chair of the RVF. “Despite this, growers can find it difficult to get the help they need on starting their regenerative transition or to find a trusted agronomist or consultant with the necessary expertise.

“We are finding that the best way to learn about implementing a practice is by building local support networks or communities, so through the RV Guide, we aim to connect growers at different stages of their regen journey and allow them to share their knowledge.”

The guide features a questionnaire where growers can determine how confident they feel in their ability to implement each of the practices, enabling the RVF to identify where growers most feel they need support, in order to best direct resources.

Growers can also record what their current practices are, using accompanying explanatory information with links to other resources. This information can be updated as they improve their practices, allowing growers to chart their progress.

Through the RV Guide, growers can also choose to be included in a map of producers interested in regenerative practices – from those who are just starting to become curious about regenerative farming, to those who are highly experienced. Vineyards can be filtered by practice and region.

During its beta testing stage alone, the RV Guide was accessed by 200 individual users including wine producers, growers and RV advisors, who registered 120 vineyards in the map.

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