Acres and Acres of Organic Grapes

Ridge Vineyards has 195 acres of certified organic vines in Sonoma County. This is twice as much as any other grower in the county.

So which of our vineyard sites make up this nearly two hundreds acres of organic vines?

Lytton Estate West (Lytton Springs in Dry Creek Valley), 95.3 acres
Lytton Estate East (Lytton Springs in Dry Creek Valley), 41.2 acres
Whitton Ranch (Geyserville Vineyard site in Alexander Valley), 23.9 acres
Fredson Ranch (Geyserville Vineyard site in Alexander Valley), 14.6 acres
East Bench (an estate vineyard in Dry Creek Valley), 19.7 acres

The other top five growers of certified organic grapes in Sonoma County, by acreage are:

Benziger, 95 acres
Quivira, 88 acres
Hall, 83 acres
Preston, 70 acres
Medlock Ames, 55 acres

In 2014, the Sonoma County Winegrowers association announced that they are committed to becoming the first 100% sustainable wine region in the United States by 2019.  Here is a video put together by the Winegrowers discussing farming in Sonoma County.

So what are the differences between Sustainable and Organic Farming?

Sustainable farming of grapes refers to practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible. Sustainable farmers may farm organically but it is not a requirement. Growers have the flexibility to choose what works best for their individual property. What is essential is small, realistic, and measurable steps as defined in the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Workbook as defined by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA).

To make the claim of Organically Grown Grapes requires a certification from an outside body and requires the following practices:

  • No use of synthetic chemical inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, or the growing of vines that have been genetically modified. Only organic treatments are allowed.
  • The vineyard has to be free from prohibited chemical inputs for 3 years before certification can be granted.
  • Detailed written records of all treatments done on the vineyard must be maintained (audit trail).
  • The grower must undergo periodic inspections of the vineyard sites.
  • Both Organic and Sustainable are important practices used by growers and wineries to ensure the integrity of the soil, the fruit and the environment.

At Ridge, we believe in the importance of being stewards of the land. Farming is a way of life and we want that to be healthy and safe for everyone involved including our staff and customers. We take pride in what we do and how we do it, we believe that comes through in the quality of our wine.

To read more on our interest in organic farming, visit these links:

David Gates on Going Organic

East Bench: Organic Certification of a Vineyard

Sonoma County’s Largest Grower of Organic Grapes



Categories: Vineyards and Oenology

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: