We enjoy introducing our guests to lesser-known and boutique wines, which are often an incredible value. We balance these adventurous wines with a stable of well-known wines from top vineyards, and we’ve recently expanded our selection to include an exceptional international selection.
We strive in both our personal and professional lives to be environmentally responsible. We take these principles into account when making wine selections for our restaurant and have chosen many wineries that share our commitment to conserving and protecting our natural resources. When we can, we seek wineries that follow sustainable farming methods, are organic, or use biodynamic viticulture methods. Following is more information about these agricultural systems.
The goal of biodynamic viticulture is to create a self-sustaining vineyard, a self-sufficient ecosystem that yields the highest possible quality grapes. This is achieved through certain unique methods and applications that take into account ecological, spiritual and energetic principles. Some wineries we include are converting to biodynamics and/or use biodynamic growing practices:
- Promotes the individuality of a given site by minimizing outside influences and recycling all farm and wine residues back into the vineyards.
- Emphasizes soil health as a means of increasing the health of the vine and cultivating aroma, color and texture in the wine.
- Uses no chemically synthesized fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fumigants, hormones, antibiotics, growth regulators or GMOs. Reliance on these synthetics reduces the ability of the vine to absorb nutrients from the soil, leaving it susceptible to disease. Over time, these chemicals kill the soil and the environment.
- Employs a series of eight herbal-based preparations applied to the soil in order to promote soil vitality through increased microbiologic activity and diversity (think of these as vitamins for the plant and soil). The more nutrient-rich and biologically diverse the soils, the more character in the wine. Uses cover crops and companion plants to maximize the health of the vineyard environment.
- Promotes pest control through soil management; Biodynamic sprays and teas; crop rotations and diversification; and the encouragement of diverse animal, bird and insect populations that lead to self-regulating predator and prey relationships.
- Aligns vineyard practices (planting, pruning, etc.) with the earth’s natural cycles (lunar, seasonal) for maximum health and development of the vines.
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations (USDA). Certified organic food in the United States is grown according to standards set by the National Organic Program. According to those standards, organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Many wineries are at least sustainable and working toward organic certification which can take several years.
- Protecting the long-term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention.
- Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms.
- Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures.
- Weed, disease and pest control relying primarily on crop rotations, natural predators, diversity, organic manuring, resistant varieties and limited (preferably minimal) thermal, biological and chemical intervention.
- The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioral needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing.
- Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats
Reducing chemical inputs, aerating soils, reducing soil compaction, improving soil drainage, adding compost when needed are all practices that can contribute to the sustainability of the subterranean life. These practices are what have become know as sustainable farming.
- Produce the best quality wine and/or grapes possible.
- Provide leadership in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.
- Maintain the long-term viability of agricultural lands.
- Support the economic and social well-being of farm and winery employees through training and competitive compensation.
- Respect and communicate with neighbors and community members; respond to their concerns in a considerate manner.
- Enhance local communities through job creation, supporting local business and actively working on important community issues.