in the vineyards
Composting: Each fall, grapes enter the winery to be crushed and the remains are recycled back to the soil. We compost all pomace, old grape vines and other vegetative materials. They are ground and aged for a year before being spread on the vineyards to maintain on-going soil and vine health.
Cover Crops: Each fall we seed vineyard rows with cover crops such as yellow mustard, fescue, brome, and vetch. This benefits our soils by promoting soil life through erosion control, improved soil structure and soil moisture management. 600 of our 900 acres are left as open space and wildlife corridors, and our own herd of goats help with control of underbrush.
Soil Management: Care is taken to maintain the health of the soil in the vineyards. Vines are matched to specific soil types to minimize soil nutrient depletion; no-till farming is used to help the soil retain carbon and to avoid soil compaction.
Beneficial Insects & Owls: We encourage the presence of beneficial insects that are attracted to the variety of native wildflowers, wild mountain blackberries and other plants that are part of Mount Veeder’s natural habitat. These beneficial insects, such as wasps, praying mantis and ladybugs, prey on vineyard pests. Owl boxes are used to encourage bird population that helps control vertebrate pest populations, e.g., gophers and voles.
Water Conservation/Dry Farming Techniques: Careful irrigation practices allow us to control vineyard canopies which ensure small berries and concentrated flavors that yield the highest quality fruit. We allow for many vineyard blocks to be nearly dry-farmed as part of our efforts to conserve water.
Erosion Control: Each fall efforts are made to “winterize” our vineyards to prevent erosion. This involves the use of cover crops, straw mulching, installing water bars on roads and maintenance of drainage systems. Taking care of our local watershed benefits everyone.