Part of being sustainable means we use sound vineyard practices so the impact on our land will be minimized and it will be preserved for future generations. We have three generations and counting on this little corner of Dry Creek Valley! Sustainability in today’s post means using organic material from things like fermentation for the good of the vineyard. For instance, some of the odds and ends from fermentation are spread to lend nutrients to the soil. It has been part of vineyard life since I can remember. When I was growing up we always used pomace in our garden to enrich our zucchini plants, tomato vines and green beans. It is a combination of dried grape seeds and skins left over from the fermenting process and it spends a year drying out, so to speak. I also remember digging around the garden and finding the pomace was full of bug activity too—the good kind to help the garden grow. A phrase used by a grape grower down the road, who was of German decent, always said they used every part of the pig, ‘except the squeal’. In that vein, we use by products of fermenting wine, divert wastewater into ponds where ducks, frogs and turtles thrive, and line roads with erosion-controlling stems. There is still life left in these grape skins and seeds and they are a great addition to vineyards just like they were in our family garden. Were you aware that pomace (fresh) is a component of grappa, the Italian liquor? Like he said, everything except the squeal. Cheers and now for some fermented grape juice in my Dino!
Fresh pomace in my hand.
Last vintage’s pomace-not pretty but kept under tarps until dried out. Ready to spread!