For the past year we have been working with our largest growers to come up with an integrated plan that would lift the sustainability footprint of all our vineyards. Together, those growers represent more than 80% of all our vineyards. We have called our team the Integrated Environmental Stewardship or IES for short. This effort is of course on top of our Biodynamic farming at Wallula and our Organic vineyards. The reason we started this group is because we could not find a single certification mechanism that met all our needs or that was economically interesting. After a year of work we have come up with a list of practices that we will monitor. Below is the list in order of importance to us:
|Winery – growercommunication|
|Plant material selection|
|Leafhopper – Mealybug, Mites and Cutworm control|
|Crop load adjustment|
|Use of farm animals|
That list has criteria (about 120 of them in total) that each farm can or has to follow in order to bge qualified as “sustainable” by our team. We are also in the process of sorting chemicals used for Herbicides, Fungicides, Insecticides and Fertilizer and agreeing of what is authorized and what is not based on several national (Organic) and international (IOBC) guidelines.
Long process, but we believe one of the most thourough out there.