Sustainable SoilLocated on the apex of the Sulphur Creek fan, Spottswoode’s alluvial soil, comprised of gravelly clay loam, is one of the Estate’s greatest assets. In order to promote a living, breathing earth, we plant a variety of cover crops such as vetch, peas, clover, and oats every fall. We continue to work to reduce tillage and are working to reestablish native California grasses in the vineyard. Our cover cropping and cultivation practices work to feed our soil, encourage a healthy rhizosphere, and reduce the need for additional inputs. We have also embraced numerous biodynamic principals, including composting, the incorporation of more animals and working with the lunar calendar. The visual diversity, rich soil and abundant earthworms confirm our successful organic practices.
We maintain a variety of flowering plants along the border of the vineyard to provide habitats for beneficial bugs that prey on undesirable insects. Each plant has been carefully selected to ensure a flowering sanctuary for our hardworking insect friends throughout the growing season. We also provide nesting boxes for native birds, including bluebirds, green-winged swallows and owls that feast on insects and rodents and encourage the diversity in our vineyard.
Controlling weeds organically requires innovation and patience. We eschew the use of synthetic and organic herbicides, focusing instead on natural alternatives for weed removal. In creating a sustainable, bio-diverse environment, we’ve learned to accept a landscape made imperfect by small, well-managed weeds.