We have implemented many sustainable practices at the winery and are continually looking for new ways to do things in a more earth-friendly fashion. The following are highlights of some of the practices that have been put in place due to our emphasis on the environment and common sense about doing things right.
- One of the most important things we do is to be in the vineyard on a daily basis, monitoring the vines. The early detection of problems allows us to limit the pesticide sprays to spot locations, before more drastic measures would be required. This is a critical element of sustainable agriculture.
- Cultivation and mulching of the raspberries keeps them healthy and weed free without commercial fertilizers or pesticides.
- Non-irrigated vines help preserve our water supply and allow the vines to adapt more favorably to the true local climate.
- Horse manure is blended with fermented grape solids and adjusted for pH to create a compost and mulch mix of all-organic matter that is used for fertilizer and weed control.
- Fungicides used such as sulfer, prophyte, and oxidate are organic in nature and have a low impact on the soil and surrounding flora as well as reduced resistance development.
- We have planted and continue to plant nursery stock to conserve the soil. Trees do a better job of conserving the soil than grasses. Also the trees will be transplanted to other areas of the farm or sold to customers for them to plant. We never can have too many trees.
- A new winery storage area was created by burying used shipping containers to create a cellar with reduced need for cooling and heating. This is not only ecological, but notes have been taken and this method will be taught at seminars for other wineries to learn.
- The winery/house uses a geothermal energy system for its hot water and for climate control.
- A return and reuse program is being put into place for the Raspberry Merlot, Pear Wine and Rosa Nera wine bottles. This will save on shipping, printing, and glass. A dollar for each bottle will be returned to the customers for their help. Details to come.
Coalition for Smarter Growth
Piedmont Environmental Council