All this week, in recognition of Earth Day on Monday, we’ve been looking at how various wineries are contributing to a more sustainable planet—a topic that’s kind of important, considering we live on the planet in question.
We began in Oregon, with a look at Eric Lemelson’s organic farming methods, developed around his own environmental background.
From there, we traveled south to California’s Sonoma Valley, and examined thesustainable practices at Stone Edge Farm Vineyards, including the role animals play in the health of the grapevines.
Next, it was down to Santa Barbara County for a visit to the Beckmen family’s Purisima Mountain Vineyard, which was planted in 1996 and has been farmed biodynamically since 2006.
Then we ventured waaaay south&mash;all the way to South Africa—for a look at how the Boekenhoutskloof winery is contributing to the health of not only its grapevines, but an entire floristic region.
Today, we conclude our series back where it started—in Oregon’s Willamette Valley—with a visit to one of the region’s pioneer wine estates.
Ever since the Rex Hill winery was purchased by A to Z Wineworks, an already strong devotion to the environment has been intensified.
Biodynamic farming practices have been embraced in the estate vineyards, and sustainable practices have been adopted in the office and business operations.
And they do a great job of keeping the public informed about their progress, via the Rex Hill website’s newsy Viticulture Blog.
The blog provides a look at many of the challenges faced by wineries as they work to do “the right thing” for the environment. The topics range from dealing with grape diseases to replanting vineyard blocks susceptible to phylloxera, and from using growth and cover crops to how biodynamic farming “follows the sun.”
Unlike many scientific references, the Rex Hill Viticulture Blog explains these often complicated topics in easy-to-comprehend language—which is good, because when people understand how important environmental stewardship is, the more likely they are to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.