Vino In My Dino

Down to Earth Month: Connecting Sustainability with our Way of Life

March 29, 2018 10:13

Down to Earth Month: Connecting Sustainability with our Way of Life

April is designated Down to Earth month with the national observance of Earth Day taking place on April 22. It was started in the 1970s as a way of calling attention to the environment. People are encouraged to participate in many ways including planting trees, cleaning up, getting out in nature and connecting with our earthly home.

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. Ever since people have lived in Sonoma County it has always been highly regarded as having all the right stuff to grow an amazing bounty of agricultural gems from peaches to walnuts, prunes to hops and now grapes are the crowning glory.

What is sustainability for us? • Compost of grape pomace, vineyard prunings, and other mature organic materials are spread in the vineyard to replenish the soil and grape stems are spread on roadways for erosion control. • Planting cover crops to improve the land’s natural fertility, control erosion and host beneficial insects. Cover crops such as barley, oats, and bell beans are all grown naturally and are chopped and turned into the soil to replenish nitrogen and oxygen. • We limit tilling by half by cultivating one way only in our head pruned Zinfandel. This saves fossil fuels as well as controls erosion in the vineyard. • Soil moisture content is checked weekly by vineyard management to dictate when and how much water is applied to vineyards in order to watch our water usage and not over-irrigate during the growing season. • All of our vineyards are hand pruned, the grapes are hand-picked, and hand tended throughout the vineyard year. • Motion sensitive lighting has been added to production buildings. • Our barrel room, housing 2000 barrels, is naturally ‘air conditioned’ by way of a venting system that opens at night, drawing in the cool air, and closing in the morning thereby keeping the barrels at a constant 55 degrees or lower.

Did you know? California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing practices in terms of wine acreage and case production. As of November 2017, 127 wineries producing over 74% (211 million cases) of California’s total wine production and 1099 vineyards farming 134,000 acres (22% of statewide wine acreage) are certified sustainable. On our 90th Anniversary Pedroncelli entered the ranks of the certified giving us proof on paper what we have always practiced.

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