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certified sustainable

  • Sold on Sustainability

    July 26, 2019 17:06

    Sold on Sustainability

    The subject of sustainability and how it sells wine is a fascinating one these days. We’ve been certified by a third party auditor. We’ve made changes over the years and plan on making more changes over the next decades to maintain our status. What sells us on the concept? More importantly what sells you, the reader, on the concept? Sold on Sustainability sheds light on the ‘sale’ability of the very thing that keeps the grape and wine business going.

    What sold the sustainability concept for me was the focus on the future. The emphasis is placed on what we can do better in order to leave the earth and environment in good condition for future generations. This includes the vineyard, winery and human resources. We are audited annually via a third party California Sustainable W A representative. Before they arrive Mitch Blakeley, fourth generation family member tasked with the project, submits paperwork that includes changes and upgrades to the previous year’s work.

    When we talk about sustainability in the market place whether it is to our tasting room visitors or a wine shop buyer it is about what we have achieved and how we will go forward to continue the process begun 90 years ago. We continue being good stewards of the land, to treat the wines and people with respect and with an eye on how it will impact the environment and the world in the years ahead. This is sustainability to us.

    How does this sell the concept? If our friends know we are invested in the future in such a way that each year will bring mindful choices about our land, our wines and our way of life then we have all that we need to live the legacy of our founders and the next generations. We are indeed sold on sustainability.

  • On Being Down To Earth: Sustainability Update

    March 27, 2019 13:33

    On Being Down To Earth: Sustainability Update

    Many of us farmers are down to earth in fact rely on the very soil beneath our feet to develop the grapes and the quality in our wines. What does that mean in the context of sustainability? I checked in with 4th generation family member Mitch Blakeley who is in his second year as the ‘go to’ sustainability contact here at Pedroncelli HQ.

    Why down to earth this month? April is designated Down to Earth month with the national observance of Earth Day taking place on April 22. Being farmers for over 9 decades puts us in touch with the earth on a daily basis. We are at the mercy of weather and happily have landed in a place where soils, climate and geography produce grapes and wine of highest quality. What is sustainability for us? It covers a lot of ground, pardon the pun.

    We compost much of what is left after the grapes have been brought in at harvest: stems, pomace (the skins and seeds left from fermentation-some Italians in the area produce Grappa from this extending the life even further), vineyard prunings and other organic materials are cut up and spread in the vineyard.

    More soil improvement comes from cover crops which feed the land, help control erosion and of course are a landing spot for the local insects which are also beneficial to our vineyard. In turn the cover crops are chopped and turned into the soil to replenish nitrogen and oxygen.

    We limit tilling which can eat up natural resources and deplete the land on one third of our vineyard. Irrigation is now checked weekly and dictates just how much if any water is needed during the growing season-pretty sure we are good to go until well into the season this year with 60 inches so far and more coming down.

    In the winery we are working on more and more ways to save including motion sensitive lighting in all production buildings. We also are mapping our usage in the areas of energy and fuel with an eye to even more savings. Sustainability isn’t just the big things it is the little ones like making sure we are working with our suppliers to lower our footprint in many ways from packaging to buying local.

    There are the three 'E's of Sustainability: Environmentally sound, Economically feasible, and (Socially) Equitable. Each of these takes us back to our roots where we have been and still are good stewards of the land; being sustainable also means it is less expensive to farm which makes it easier on the pocketbook when you buy our wines; generations have called this little corner of Dry Creek Valley home-not only family but our employees as well. We are doing our part and continue to work up the sustainable ladder by raising the bar in many areas of the vineyard and winery-and of course making sure the next generations are in place to do the same.