We purchased the Alpine road property in 2012 to be our home, our winery, and started the process to transform a traditionally farmed Cabernet Sauvignon to one more balanced and ecologically diverse. While our endeavors on 10 acres do not shift the AVA's, state’s, or world’s opinion, in a gentle way, we start by changing ourselves.
As mentioned, we set out to be ecologically balanced. What does that mean to us? Where possible an environmentally balanced farm plan was created to reduce our reliance on chemical fertilizers (and pest control), as well as reduce resources and lower what ends up in landfills. Each year we learn more and put into practice our stewardship ideas. We raise chickens for their eggs and as a natural pest control. We practice organic farming and don't till, instead we have cover crops of native grasses, grains, crimson clover, California poppy, and other plants that enhance the organic composition of the soil. Using a no till approach we create a habitat for beneficial insects, provide a greater carbon capture potiental, and keep dust out of the air; benefiting air quality throughout the valley.
Along with recycling and green waste programs, our aim is to minimise the winery's resource footprint. Phase one of our solar project was completed in 2017 with a 12 kW system supporting the winery’s main building. A future phase two is planned for the covered multi-use area that will add a second system, effectively doubling our solar capabilities to 24 kW, moving us from neutral-ish to a producer.
We are also exploring how to incorporate processes of organic and regenerative agricultural into our approaches found in permaculture practices, no-till farming, cover crops, food-scaping, fostering pollinators and native plants, and wildlife.