When the primary source of your business originates from the natural world, it is imperative to maintain that source in the most sustainable way possible. Whether through sharing best practices with our network of growers or providing grants in conjunction with Washington State University, sustainable farming enhances our business and the reputation and longevity of the Washington State wine industry.
Our vineyard operations use a number of integrated pest management techniques to minimize damage from pests that are harmful to grapevines.
These techniques include:
- Using cover crops specifically designed to attract certain insects, creating an environment in which “beneficial bugs” (bugs that feed on harmful bugs and fungi) can thrive;
- Maintaining and expanding the registered virus-free mother block of disease-resistant wine grape vines; and
- Increasing the use of environmentally friendly pest control agents as well as company reliance on materials such as biodegradable soaps, oils and plant extracts.
We also mitigate soil erosion through the use of green covers of beneficial native grasses and cereal grains that also provide habitat for insects that are beneficial to its vineyards. Vineyard managers take a site-specific approach, and match cover crop types and soil mixtures to the needs and characteristics of each vineyard block.
Drip irrigation, which became prevalent in the 1970s, has had a dramatic effect on grape and wine quality, while minimizing water loss by delivering water to the plant’s roots (as compared to overhead systems that water the entire vineyard).