It is now five years since we took over the vineyard. We moved from old fashion tilling onto biodynamics, i.e: an integrated way of looking after the environment including no pesticides or any artificial products.
The vines have turned around dramatically and are no longer diseased. With their immune system as full strength, they are back in form. The soil is also much healthier, retains water for longer (key with very hot summers) and has a much healthier mix of biodiversity.
During spring this year came across "Ceratophyus martinezi" in two separate instances. A very rare species of a very beautiful bettle. As far as i know there are no records of it in the Toledo province. They seem attracted to the horsetail fermentation container... Had to rescue one from drowning. Beautiful and harmless, took it out by hand and left it on a safe place. Up close they are extremely beautiful, they look black at first yet display incredible shades of dark blue. Electric.
During our last visit in June came across a separate bettle species, equally beautiful. Orange over black spells danger in quite an intuitive feeling.
Berberomeloe majalis is its name and it´s a female (the males are plain black) oil bettle. When they feel in danger they segregate an oily liquid which is highly toxic. In humans it produces skin irritation, vomit, diarrhea and urinary anomalies...
And lastly during that same visit we came across vipera aspis. Have come across snake skins over the years, a common sight in the area. This time however it was the real thing. Very calm and beautiful, sunbathing under a vine.
Only 4% of bites can be fatal if untreated, yet it is a very dangerous snake particularly to children. Good to be aware of the species just in case we have to take a trip to the local hospital...
We left her alone of course. She was living there from before we started working on the vineyard. Guess we shouldn´t be worried about moles digging tunnels anymore...
Luis Garcia studied Business Administration at Toledo University and Management Accountancy (CIMA) in London where he lives and works.