We treat our vineyard like a living friend – with respect and love.
This translates to fully caring for its health and well-being, from the soil and the vines to all the flora and fauna that thrives there. Being certified organic and farming in a regenerative style is the logical consequence of our passion for land and wildlife. Our priority is to achieve the highest quality and expression of our terroir with the least impact on the environment.
On 35 acres of flat, loamy-gravelly soil, we grow organic Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Pinot noir grapes from vines ranging in age from about 5 to 25 years. While we sit in the sunny and hot Sanel Valley, our position right at the foot of the massive Duncan Peak also affords us some refreshing cool air at night. This creates a high temperature differential which benefits grape ripening. Each grape variety features multiple blocks that vary by year of plantation, rootstock, clones, and trellis systems. Enduring a dry season of more than 6 months, the entire vineyard is laid out for drip-irrigation from our own springs and storage ponds.
To protect our vines and help them thrive, we prefer to rely on our people and their rich experience more than technology. Organic farming begins with monitoring, observing, and responding quickly, often in a creative and cooperative way. This means forming longer-term relationships with employees who know the vineyard well, and caring for them and their families. That is a key part of our organic farming practice – being a strong team of people who work together to care for the land.
Conventional farms deal frequently spray high quantities of pesticide across entire fields on a scheduled basis. An organic farm, however, works towards boosting soil and plant health to minimize disease and pest in the first place. We use only organic products and treatments that are fully compliant with CCOF, our certifier, and verified annually by their inspectors. Cover crops are raised in every row to improve soil fertility, structure and quality. These also help suppress weeds and promote biodiversity. Compost and organic fertilizers are applied row by row for growth. For pest management, our resident owls hunt small animals who otherwise damage the vine roots and soil. This entire approach minimizes infestations while yielding richer, healthier fruit, which translates to more safety for consumers and higher quality wines.
Lastly, our approach to organic farming also extends to our green infrastructure, our low-impact product design, and our energy efficiency. From solar panels to recyclable packaging to low-energy lighting and cooling in our warehouse, we constantly seek to conserve and protect resources while minimizing waste.