The cellar master and viticulturist take a very hands-on approach to grape production. By studying the natural conditions, they assist the contracted wine producers in determining the varieties to plant, test produce throughout the season to determine optimum harvesting time and keep everyone abreast of new developments in the wine industry. Approximately 80% of the vineyards are small bush vines and the average yield per hectare is just 6 tons as opposed to high yield trellised vines, but with close monitoring, the quality of grape is exceptional. Essentially, the drier conditions result in smaller grape berries that have increased levels of concentrated sugar, acid and flavour components, undiluted by excessive irrigation. The good gravel understructure of the soil promotes moisture retention and environmentally friendly farming practices assist in this process. For example, sowing cover crops between the vines during autumn binds the soil and provides protection from the winter rains. Valuable minerals and nutrients are prevented from washing away, and in spring, when the grain dies back, it forms a protective blanket over the soil, further reducing moisture loss during the long hot summers and also curbs the growth of weeds.