We are among the first wineries to have adopted organics, having farmed our vineyard organically since 1985 and acquired California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification in 1992. Our commitment to producing the highest quality wines is evidenced by the amount of time we spend in the vineyard. We recently planted our youngest block in soil refreshed with the installation of tightly spaced sub-surface drainage, a system that drains spring rainwater to allow timely root growth in optimum conditions. We’ve also introduced a modified trellis system with tighter vine spacing. These efforts increase control over canopy growth and improve fruit conditions, resulting in more highly concentrated grapes.
We work closely with biodynamic specialists to broaden our farming techniques that help promote a living, breathing ecosystem. We also restored a riparian corridor that sustains an important ecological balance in our community.
Sustainable Soil Practices
Alluvial, clay loam soil is one of Spottswoode’s greatest assets. To enrich it, we plant cover crops such as vetch, peas, clover, and oats every fall. We have also reduced tillage and are re-establishing native California grasses in the vineyard. These practices feed the soil, encourage a healthy rhizosphere, and reduce the need for inputs. We also embrace biodynamic principals, including composting, bringing in animals, and incorporating the lunar calendar. We’re excited by the resulting success in diversity, rich soil, and abundance of earthworms!
Natural Insect and Weed Management
We maintain a variety of flowering plants along the vineyard border to provide habitats for beneficial bugs that prey on undesirable insects. We also built nesting boxes for native birds, including bluebirds, green-winged swallows, and owls that feast on insects and rodents and encourage diversity.
Controlling weeds organically requires patient innovation. We eschew the use of synthetic and organic herbicides, focusing instead on natural alternatives. In creating a sustainable, bio-diverse environment, we’ve learned to accept a landscape made imperfect by small, well-managed weeds.