Protecting the land has always been at the forefront of how we manage our vineyard. We are proud to be a California Certified Sustainable Vineyard and strive each day to grow the best quality fruit while minimizing our impact on this land. Below are key components of our commitment to sustainable growing/farming practices.
We understand and acknowledge that we are stewards of the land that Continental Vineyards rests on. We have made great strides in balancing the health and viability of the land, while trying to adhere to the best growing practices for wine grape growing.
- Nutrition scheduling is coordinated for optimal vine & canopy management.
- Nitrogen applications are minimized to prevent overexposure.
- Harsher, more damaging pesticides with longer re-entry intervals are avoided for use in the vineyards.
- Tractor passes are reduced to lower the amount of fuel used yearly.
Over the years there has been continued improvement and significant investment towards managing our water resources in a more sustainable way. Installation of new and improved field sensing technology as well as the use of aerial imagery has helped the growing team better understand the best irrigation strategies for minimizing water use.
- Soil moisture probes were purchased to monitor irrigation scheduling and eliminate over-irrigation.
- Irrigation is scheduled at optimal times and is at the forefront of our wine quality management.
- Soil is ripped to reduce pooling on the surface.
Our energy efficiency on the vineyard goes hand in hand with our water conservation management. The vast majority of energy spent in the vineyard is through the movement of water to the vines in the field. Our goal is to always explore more efficient ways to utilize these inputs and minimize energy footprint.
- 2.5 acres of photovoltaic solar array which powers the winery.
- Fixed-tilt photovoltaic system that supplies the electricity needs
- of the Broken Earth Visitor Center.
- Roof-mounted glycol solar hot water system.
- Irrigation scheduling is avoided at peak electrical hours.
- New energy efficient pumps, and tractors have been purchased in the last two years to replace less efficient models.
- Solar panels purchased to increase the renewable energy used by the vineyard.
More than ever we have become more and more attune to the health and condition of the soils we are farming. We continue to educate ourselves on improving soil structure and avoiding compaction of the soil. As such we are planting nutrient rich cover crops and minimizing cultivation of the soil in an effort to replenish what is taken out of the soil and into the vine.
- Nutrient cover crops are planted to replenish the soil annually, and incorporate organic matter.
- Tractor passes are minimized to reduce compaction of the soil.
- Tillage is minimized to reduce the release of carbon.
Responsible Pest Management
As part of our efforts towards achieving conservation goals, we are intent on managing pests in a sustainable way. This includes accurately identifying the pest in the field, exploring various strategies, and executing the implementation of these strategies in an effort to avoid disrupting the ecological balance present as little as possible.
- Housing provided for natural predators (ex. hawks, owls, snakes).
- Disruption of the mealybug mating cycles is implemented.
- Pre-emergent herbicides are applied in the winter to reduce the number of herbicides used.
- Fungicide materials with longer spray intervals are used to reduce the number of passes.
Wildlife Habitat Protection
We take care in doing our best to avoid disturbing the wildlife habitat that is established at Continental Vineyards.