DeLoach Vineyards Begins Inaugural Harvest From Certified Biodynamic® And Organic Estate Vineyard
22 September, 2010
September 22, 2010—DeLoach Vineyards announced today that the harvest of its Estate Vineyard has officially begun. This vintage marks the inaugural harvest since the winery received Biodynamic® and organic certification for its estate. DeLoach earned its organic certification from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 2008 and its Biodynamic® certification from Demeter in 2009. The 2010 vintage celebrates DeLoach’s first harvest from the property’s six-year conversion to a more self-sustaining and environmentally friendly estate.
The 2010 harvest is a milestone in DeLoach’s long-term commitment to sustainable farming. When the Boisset family from Burgundy purchased the 17-acre estate in 2003, it immediately began the conversion to organic and Biodynamic® methods. A year after purchase, the existing vineyards were torn out to begin a two-year series of cover crop rotations and the land was allowed to lie fallow to restore a healthy balance to the soil. The new vineyards, planted in several blocks between 2006-2008, have been farmed according to Biodynamic® principles: following the Biodynamic® calendar (which relies on celestial and terrestrial movements), applying field and compost preparations to help the plants grow, cultivating biodiversity, and minimizing dependence on external outputs.
The Boisset family’s rich tradition of Biodynamic® and organic farming began in 1994 with the conversion of its French home vineyard, Domaine de La Vougeraie, to organic and Biodynamic® practices. Today, all properties owned by Boisset globally are either certified organic, Biodynamic®, or in conversion, like the recently-purchased Raymond Vineyards in California’s Napa Valley. “This vintage will be a testament to the extraordinary Russian River Valley,” says Jean-Charles Boisset, proprietor of DeLoach Vineyards and President of Boisset Family Estates. “We endeavor to create the best wine possible, which we believe is achieved through cultivating a deep and nurturing relationship with the Earth. We think this estate vineyard will express the authenticity and integrity with which we’ve labored within Nature.” This commitment is evidenced when visiting the property, whereupon arriving, one is met by a stunning sculpture entitled Earth & Sky. Created by sculptor Peter Schifrin, the figure symbolizes the outstretched arms of Mother Earth reaching to the sky, connecting the power of the heavens back to the land.
The DeLoach Vineyards estate today boasts a diverse ecosystem that supports the cultivation of its eight Pinot Noir and three Chardonnay clones. The grapes benefit from the presence of bees that pollinate the cover crops, sheep that graze and trim the vegetation and chickens that contribute to the property’s composting. DeLoach’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its vines. A half-acre certified organic and Biodynamic® garden provides fresh produce for winery guests, employees, local charities, and further supports the vineyard’s biodiversity. DeLoach has installed a membrane bioreactor that purifies all water from the winemaking process for reuse in the vineyards, saving up to two million gallons of water per year.
“This harvest represents the apogee of a cycle initiated by the desire to produce wine of the highest possible quality while perpetuating our core responsibility as stewards of the land," explains Winegrower Eric Pooler. Following this inaugural vintage, DeLoach Vineyards seeks to continue its green practices far into the future. Pooler continues, “Through these practices, we gain assurance that the essence of the site will be reflected in each bottle of wine produced, and that the indentation of our footprint won’t be visible to future generations."