Spottswoode’s Long History with Sustainable Farming Practices

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Spottswoode is an historic, family-owned estate vineyard and winery located on the western edge of St. Helena in Napa Valley. As stewards of this beautiful estate, they are guided by both intuition and respect for Mother Nature’s unique seasonal offerings.

Among the first to introduce organic farming practices in the Napa Valley in 1985, they are proud to have enjoyed the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) certification since 1992. They work closely with biodynamic specialists to broaden their farming techniques that help promote a living, breathing ecosystem. Here are just some of the ways they maintain sustainable vineyard practices:

Sustainable Soil Practices

Alluvial, clay loam soil is one of Spottswoode’s greatest assets. To enrich it, they plant cover crops such as vetch, peas, clover, and oats every fall. They 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.

They also embrace biodynamic principals, including composting, bringing in animals, and incorporating the lunar calendar. They’re excited by the resulting success in diversity, rich soil, and abundance of earthworms!

Natural Insect and Weed Management

They maintain a variety of flowering plants along the vineyard border to provide habitats for beneficial bugs that prey on undesirable insects. They 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. They eschew the use of synthetic and organic herbicides, focusing instead on natural alternatives. In creating a sustainable, bio-diverse environment, they’ve learned to accept a landscape made imperfect by small, well-managed weeds.

With these spectacular credentials, it’s no surprise that Spottswoode received a ‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ award for its sustainable farming initiatives.

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