In 2000, Gabrielle made the decision to take the final step in adopting organic and sustainable farming and lifestyle practices. She attended seminars, hired consultants to assure that all aspects of this decision would be correctly implemented. After over 25 years in the horticulture industry already using non-pesticide practices, she wanted to incorporate the universality of sustainable practices, which include the land, workers, business practices and the environment.
“The entire estate functions as an integrated community: the grapes provide delicious wine, which pairs with fruits, vegetables, herbs and honey cultivated from the gardens, then gardens give health back to the vineyard. Providing housing to our workers strengthens the sense of a stable community and commitment to the land. All benefit!” -Gabrielle
Organic Practices: The vine cuttings are mulched and returned to the vineyard as compost, the garden plants and vineyard vines receive only organic fertilizers and sprays. After a decade of farming organically, the results are rewarding- no disease or insects have been present. The natural balancing of a diverse ecco system is working!
Minimal Use of Sulfur: The vineyard only receives sulfur treatment for a month- mostly in May, in comparison to historically traditional treatments from April through June/ July. Stylet oil is applied February-April, botanical mildew eating microorganisms are applied after May. This minimizes sulfur exposure to the environment as well assures that all sulfur residue will be absent at time of harvest. Minimal sulfur is added to barreled wine- just enough to keep the wine free of damaging organisms. The result is less environmental impact and less exposure to those who have sulfur intolerance.
Bio-Diversity: The soil attributes are accented by the bio-diversity of surrounding herb gardens, fruit trees and mature Eucalyptus trees. We believe that this diversity has maintained the excellent health in the vineyard- we have not had disease or insect pressure since planting in 2000- the entire estate transitioned to organic and sustainable practices that year.
Stewardship: The estate borders Dry Creek, a tributary into the Napa River, a major water source of the San Francisco Bay. We are very vigorous with our stewardship of the creek, exceeding organic regulations, taking into consideration the environment as a whole. For example, we use organic Stylet Oil instead of organic sulfur to spray against mildew in the spring as long as possible, and then convert to wetable powder. This avoids the sulfur drift of air-applied sulfur. Better for the creek, better for us!