down to earth

  • Postcards from Home: D2E

    April 26, 2021 13:36

    Postcards from Home: D2E

    This series began one year ago at the start of the pandemic when I wanted to share what is going on each month at the winery or in the vineyard. They are snapshots of life in and around our little corner of Dry Creek Valley. I have mentioned before that I send my grandsons postcards from the road—I am on the lookout for a postcard that captures the place I have traveled to so I can share the experience with them. These do the same thing—bring a bit of Pedroncelli to you!
     

    April is known as Down to Earth (D2E) month in California with thanks to the Wine Institute, a group dedicated to supporting and lobbying for the state’s wineries. We have been a member for decades and I am a member of the board representing Sonoma County along with other vintners. Over 1000 wineries belong to the group stretching from border to border. Wine Institute also began the Sustainability program and have chosen to focus on this for D2E month.

    D2E celebrates sustainability in the vineyards and wineries, showcasing green from grape to glass all around the state. You’ll find some great information here as well as many live presentations throughout the rest of the month. At Pedroncelli spring is in the air—our vines are waking up, budbreak is taking place as each variety, from Sangiovese the first out to Cabernet Sauvignon, takes its turn to push out and reach for the sky and the upcoming vintage.


    Alto Vineyards Sangiovese

    Mitch, Vineyard Assistant and 4th Generation Member, sent me photos of the first vineyard to begin budbreak. While the other varieties weren’t too far behnd, our Sangiovese is almost always the first out. In fact the vineyard crew delays pruning the vines for this very reason—they are the last to be pruned and the first to push out buds. It helps protect the new growth from possible frost damage. I guess they aren’t the only ones ready to start the vintage.
     

    Alto Vineyards Sangiovese

    Mother Clone Zinfandel

    The three generations of Zinfandel on the home ranch have begun another year of the growing season. The vines, ranging in age from over 100 years to the youngest at 8, were a little slow in waking up but now you’ll see they are in full swing heading toward vintage 2021. The beauty of this old vine is in the gnarled arms-the knots indicate previous canes and shaping of the vine which has produced fruit for nearly 40 years...and counting.
     

    Mother Clone Zinfandel

    On Being Sustainable

    We were certified sustainable in 2017, our 90th anniversary. This reflects our time here in Dry Creek Valley—the three ‘e’s of sustainability are Environmentally sound, Economically feasible and socially Equitable and is woven into our legacy. Mitch Blakeley, fourth generation, became the coordinator of this program and works with the auditor each year to further the green footprint in both the vineyard and winery. Cover crop is just one of the ways we tread lightly in the vineyard—also less tractor work which equals lower emissions. All of these work toward a better future for all of us. For more about what we do visit here.
     

    Cover Crop

    April Flowers

    It just wouldn’t be fair to close this Postcard series without a photo of the beauty flowers bring to our little corner of the world. Bees depend on the flowering rosemary around our tasting room and other plants in and around the winery. The cover crop, recently tilled under to feed the soil with necessary nutrients, is all part of being down to earth. 

    April Flowers  April Flowers 2