/ This article is taken from the daily PRAVDA and was published on June 2, 2023 /
We are faced with the word organic every day. Where does marketing end and where does the honest production of organic food and organic drinks, respecting the natural processes taking place in nature, begin? "Where, for example, organic growing of grapes and subsequently organic production of wine is not only a trend, but also the life's mission of the vintner and winemaker who decides to follow this path," says Ladislav Šebo from the Karpatská Perla winery.
The ecological approach and organic production of wine have become a natural response, in the Šebos family`s view to the changes that occurred in agriculture in the 20th century, which has gradually become an industrial sector.
"We survived the century of chemicals, let's start farming responsibly towards nature, so that we can call the 21st century the century of a clear conscience. Let's live and farm in such a way that allows others live as well," expressed the essence of the new philosophy of responsible farming and land management, beekeeper Pavel Fiľo.
This concept of a clear conscience towards nature, of which we humans are also a part, is also adhered to by the viticulture and winery Karpatská Perla. After careful consideration and preparation, the Šebos family began to cultivate and to treat the vineyards on the entire area ecologically in 2019.
"Four years of transformation of the vineyards have passed and we are on the best way to successfully complete the certification for organic wine production," says his wife Margita Šebová and adds: "In Karpatská Perla we live in harmony with nature, guided by the motto - Pearls are born in the vineyard."
Since 2014, Karpatská Perla has been experimenting with organic grape cultivation in the Noviny vineyard with an area of 4 hectares. Gradually, all their vineyards have undergone a conversion to organic - Suchý vrch, Noviny, Kramáre, Ingle, Plešiny, Skalka, Staré hory, Kalvária, Obrperky, Plázle, Šajby. The vines are treated with bio-recognized, approved, contact substances, avoiding the use of herbicides and pesticides. Instead of harsh chemicals, only such substances are used to eliminate pests and diseases which are provided by nature itself to restore a balanced ecosystem in the community of plants and animals.
Being ecological does not mean denying modern technologies. On the contrary, they allow the vintner to be even more environmentally friendly. For protection, only modern sprayers with recuperation and minimal spray drift are used in Karpatská Perla. It is efficient and therefore extremely environmentally friendly.
The soil in the vineyards is cultivated only mechanically. The interrows are kept green, with a diverse combination of herbs which benefit the soil in terms of nutrition, improving its structure or retaining moisture. Not to mention that the natural green carpet becomes a home for insects. Regular and patient inspections of the vineyards are a standard practice during each period of growth, because the earlier any deviations in development are detected, the more timely and effectively they can be reacted to.
Karpatská Perla also utilizes new technical monitoring equipment providing an overview of what is happening in the vineyards. This is made possible by 4 weather stations installed according to the characteristics of the individual locations.
"The data from the weather stations along with the signaling system provided by Vitiport help us determine the optimal timing for vineyard treatments," explains Ladislav Šebo. "Based on the data obtained, we can identify when the highest disease pressure is expected in the vineyards, allowing us to intervene at the right moment," he adds.
Grapes and Wines with BIO Certification.
The significant effort and investments in the organic conversion of the vineyards have created the conditions for the winery to complete the bio-certification of its wines in 2023.
"Once we have achieved it, then we will be able to state not only that the grapes come from organic production, but also that the wine is labeled as organic," emphasizes Margita Šebová. She explained that it is a lengthy and demanding process precisely defined by the legislation, but they have managed to meet the requirements for organic conversion. "We have become more meticulous and considerate towards the vineyard and the wine. We realize even more aware the before that it is a living organism that reacts sensitively to any change," says Margita Šebo.
For several years, the wine in the winery Karpatská Perla has been produced by spontaneous fermentation. What does it look like in practice?
"We hand-harvest the grapes and process them with utmost care. During processing, we macerate the grapes. In the cellar, we only complete the wine production with as few interventions as possible. We utilize natural techniques, such as extended resting on the lees and stirring without adding sulphur. This is how we made the wines Grüner Veltliner Ingle 2022 and Grüner Veltliner Noviny 2022," explains winemaker Ladislav Šebo.
It is said that wine is liquefied art with a concentrate of optimism, good mood and health.
"We have transformed the beauty of the Small Carpathians as well as the healing power of nature from pure, chemically untouched vineyards into our wines. We offer wines as created by the Slovak nature itself. Due to the diversity of our locations, the microclimate of the individual vineyards, their different geological substrata and the variety of soils, we obtain wines with an original aromatic and flavor profile. They truly reflect the diversity that the nature can provide, without unnecessarily human interference in the craft" adds Margita Šebo to what her husband says.
Let's return to the beekeeper Pavol Fiľo, a convinced advocate of ecological farming on the land. Mr. Fiľo reminds is of the saying from the Bible - "do not turn aside from the path because of the sidewalk". Unfortunately, we have long been walking he sidewalk. From that sidewalk we will have to return to the normal path, which is natural organic farming. If we want to live healthily, we have to resist the pressure of multinational companies that persuade people that only through chemical methods can we produce enough food for all the inhabitants of the world. We must return to the natural - organic agriculture, to living foods. Karpatská Perla produces exactly that