Sustainability is a way of life. A balance not only in the vineyards but our own lives. You can't achieve one without the other.
We believe in doing things ourselves. If we can’t build it, we don’t need it. The same goes for our winegrowing. All of our farming and winegrowing is in-house. We are lucky to have the Gonzalez family from Morelio, Mexico with us – Fidel, the father started with us in 1964. His five sons (Dagoberto, Jose, Esteban, Benjamin, and Carlos) and 2 daughters moved to the United States. The Gonzalez' men work with us today, 2 cousins, a father-in-law and the first 3rd-generation, Fidel’s grandson – Jose Jr. This is part of our sustainable practice.
Our sustainable vineyard practices includes planting cover crops including vetch, barley, daikon radishes and clover just after harvest to enhance the soils improving nitrogen inefficiences. The cover crops create a healthy environment for beneficial 'bugs' and help retain soil moisture. This also equates to less watering in the long run. Wild untamed grasses have their place on our ranch.
Winegrowing is 100% estate managed by Justin. We manage all of the wine sales by our family. All photography, design and marketing for the winery is handled by Karin. We have no outside consultants – no extra vehicles driving back and forth. No extra equipment from other ranches – again no wasted use of fuel and man hours. We are responsible to the environment in each and every move we make. It’s a natural choice rather than a marketing decision. This is in fact who we are – not who we want to be. Sustainable from the inside out.
Winemaking we are also sustainable. We are the winemakers - producing all of the wines by our hands. We are the first winery in the state of California to propose a sustainable waste water treatment. Our composting operation each year entails recycling our pumice waste of stems, seeds and skins from our winery to create rich, nutritious compost to enrich our soils. In utilizing the waster water from our winery to hydrate the compost - it's a win/win. We are also 100% solar powered for the upper Ranch pushing energy back into the system most months. It all comes full circle.
Balance is what we strive for year after year and entirely apart of our sustainable ideology. Isn’t it what we all try to achieve – work hard which allows for freedom. At the ranch --- the soils, surrounding wildlife, biological life, insects that live on the vines, balance of irrigation and equipment use are all part of this delicate equation. There is great beauty in an unmanicured, natural vineyard. Nature is after all imperfectly perfect.
Wouldn’t you agree?