Bleeding imagination had developed the iphof CSU local association by wanting to make the vineyards more colorful. Flowers and grasses should flourish between the vines, cultivated with a seed mixture paid for by the city and spread by local vintners. This was the motion on which the building committee had to decide on monday evening. For now, however, this floral multiculturalism has failed – due to a lack of a concept and, to some extent, probably also due to the resistance of the winegrowers, who had turned up in team strength in the council chamber.
The first step
Again and again the talk was of a "first small step". The president of the bavarian state institute for viticulture and horticulture (LWG), hermann kolesch, spoke of this; and also uwe matheus, who sits at the interface (or should we say: between the chairs) as CSU local chairman and commercial director of the coarse iphof winery. A small step for the winegrowers, a much bigger step for ecology – that was the idea behind the CSU proposal. But then came the appearance of kolesch. He said in his presentation that it was not enough to "sow a little blood mixture", "that is too short-sighted", a pure "alibi". The president wielded the crude organic club, spoke of "biodiversity" and "biodiversity strategy" – and left many winegrowers perplexed.
Small step is too rough for the vintners
For most, it seemed, the "small step" was too rough at this early stage. They felt the same as hansi ruck, the chairman of the winegrowers’ association. "I have to digest the many impressions first of all."His winemaker colleague werner emmerich stated: "in principle, it is the right approach to bring more color into the vineyards. Vineyards are a monoculture, after all.As with many, there was also a "but": too many questions unanswered. Do the winegrowers get compensation areas?? How quickly and (un)bureaucratically will the whole thing go over the stage??
Hermann kolesch promoted his idea of "sustainable conversion" with a vivid example. Directly in front of his office, on the scarlach hill in thungersheim, a pilot project has been running for years to "promote biodiversity in francophone vineyards". A completely new ecosystem is being created there on ten to twelve hectares. In steeper areas, cross-country terraces were created, entire rows were sacrificed for flower strips. And the first results are a success for kolesch. The diversity of flora and fauna, which had suffered greatly under industrial agriculture, had recovered. In fact, the pictures show colorful, blooming vineyards and cultivated landscapes.
Spraying glyphosate is no longer an option
Kolesch, however, immediately made clear what this process entails: more mindfulness, more awareness of nature, a completely new care and management concept. "It’s no longer possible to simply spray glyphosate." The winegrowers grumbled and fluttered. Josef olinger was one of the few who fully supported the concept. "We can’t make blooming meadows on one side, and on the other side we bring chemistry into pure culture."His appeal to his colleagues: finally pave the way for organic agriculture. This is owed not least to the customers and guests, who are amazed when nothing grows between the vines.
Among the city councilors the echo was divided. "We can’t go on like this in the long run," says second mayor ludwig weigand. Rupert maier, a winemaker himself, was more critical of kolesch’s concept. "We want to take a small step with the winegrowers. What they are offering us here are violent steps."Uwe matheus made it clear that it is up to each winegrower to follow the path. "It’s about making a start – whether that’s an alibi or not. You can do one without doing the other."
"French stubborn" need longer
The compromise agreed upon by the city council was also aimed in this direction: the year will be used for an intensive exchange with the winegrowers and to coordinate a joint approach. The winegrowers, recommended association chairman hansi ruck, should look for suitable plots for the field trial. And LWG president kolesch once again campaigned for a change of mindset. "You can only do that with french stubbornness over a longer period of time."