Robert Mondavi Winery - ToKalon Vineyard - Sustainable Farming

Sustainable Farming

Natural winegrowing for Robert Mondavi Winery means working in harmony with nature to protect the health of people and the earth while producing the finest-quality wine. Environmentally friendly sustainable farming practices include conserving soils and water, managing pests, and recycling water and materials. Below are some of the steps we take to preserve our balance with nature.

 

IN THE VINEYARD

HOW ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY USES NATURAL, SUSTAINABLE FARMING TECHNIQUES.

  • Adopted natural winegrowing philosophy in the early 1970s and to this day remains a leader in ongoing research and experimentation.
  • Currently manages more than 1,000 naturally farmed acres in Napa Valley.
  • Establishes raptor roosts to encourage the proliferation of natural predators to control vine pests and rodents.
  • Reduces insect pests, powdery mildew and bunch rot through leaf removal and canopy management. Character and balance in the grapes are enhanced by improved sunlight and air penetration.
  • Uses composted grape pomace, a natural grape by-product, as well as fresh pomace to increase soil fertility.
  • Plants cover crops and adds organic matter to naturally replenish the soil with nitrogen and increase diversity of flora and fauna while preventing erosion. Cover crops also support beneficial insects for pest management, reducing the need for non-natural measures. They help conserve water and soil, creating the basis for sustained production and fine-quality wine.
  • Dedicates significant acreage to permanent cover crops or “no-till” areas.
  • Increases density of plantings to reduce yield per vine, improving flavor concentration and yield per acre.
  • Controls vine vigor and yield through crop thinning and shoot removal, intensifying flavors and aromas.

ECOLOGICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE:

  • The only wine company among ten agricultural and urban organizations in California to receive an “IPM Innovator Award” in 1998 from the California Environmental Protection Agency for environmentally friendly pest control.
  • Founding member and active participant of the Napa Sustainable Winegrowing Group, which is dedicated to documenting natural farming practices.
  • Participates in other stewardship efforts and a national, pilot land stewardship program.
  • Teamed with University California, Davis scientists on a long-term irrigation research project to improve water management, optimizing water use and conservation to produce fruit of high quality and appropriate yields. Completed research with NASA on a Department of Water Resources grant to predict water use in the winery’s To Kalon Vineyard. Retains, enhances and actively encourages the proliferation of natural wetlands and woodlands on vineyard properties.

ENDANGERED SPECIES PRESERVATION EFFORTS
AT ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY:

  • Adopted hillside erosion controls in Huichica Hills Vineyard in the Carneros AVA to protect the Huichica Creek watershed, home to the endangered California freshwater shrimp.
  • Stabilized stream bank to preserve Huichica Creek’s banks and natural flow.

RECOGNITION FOR ROBERT MONDAVI WINERY’S SUSTAINABLE
FARMING PRACTICES IN CALIFORNIA INCLUDE:

  • 1991 – Robert Mondavi Winery Director of Napa Valley Winegrowing Operations (former), Mitchell Klug, receives Soils Conservation Service “Conservationist of the Year” Award
  • 1998 – Robert Mondavi Winery is the first winery to receive an Integrated Pest Management “Innovator” Award from the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Pesticide Regulation

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