Practices

Working in a sustainable vineyard

Vineyard

Vineyard

Vineyard

 

Ross Cannard, who grows our grapes, is a farmer of the highest caliber. In addition to tending vines, he grows fruit and veggies for the legendary Chez Panisse. He has a wait-and-see approach to vine pests, and with frequent monitoring managed to avoid spraying to control the almost ubiquitous Powdery Mildew. 

This year, Ross didn't till the vineyard. Tilling is a standard  practice that increases erosion and muddies local streams. He didn't irrigate, as dry-farmed vines produce more interesting grapes, albeit with lower yields. These unorthodox farming decisions conserve Sonoma's most precious natural resource: water.

Equally important, Ross offers a progressive profit-sharing incentive program to his employees. This payment system develops vineyard team buy-in and greater economic security. We are very fortunate to work with a farmer dedicated to the sustainable ideals of regenerative agriculture and social equity.

Filling a barrel with natural wine

Cellar

Vineyard

Vineyard

 

We believe the most interesting and delicious way to make wine is with minimal additives and maximum transparency, at an accessible price. Fresh Wines supports our local and business community members, always with an eye towards carbon draw-down and climate resiliency. 

In the cellar, we have decided to make only one addition besides grapes: a small dose of SO2 (a modest 25 ppm before bottling) to preserve the wine for market. Making wine without commercial inputs requires rigorous sanitation and ancient techniques. We use native yeast, neutral barrels, lees stirring, and foot treading, to ensure the wine tastes as good as we can make it without compromising our ideals. We're convinced that minimal intervention wines are tastier and  most authentic to their site.