Happy Earth Day! Although it is a nationally recognized day for celebrating “green” practices, at V. Sattui we focus on this every day.
Sustainability has been a core value at V. Sattui since it was founded in 1976. As a California Certified Sustainable winery, V. Sattui's commitment to taking care of the land is present in our winemaking practices from the soil, to the vine, and to the bottle.
The viticulture team is constantly evaluating the environmental impact of our farming practices. Certified through the Fish-Friendly Farming program, V. Sattui introduces beneficial predators and organisms in the vineyards to reduce the need for use of damaging pesticides or herbicides, in line with its commitment to preserving natural wildlife habitats. In this very dry chapter of California agriculture, we are also closely monitoring our water use and have tilled many of our cover crops early, so they aren’t competing with vines for water. This dedication extends beyond the winery to a family of private grape growers who tend their vineyards with the same care and concern required to make the distinctive wines for which V. Sattui is known.
This is the original estate vineyard property of V. Sattui Winery, adjacent to the winery itself. It is 34 acres that are planted to seven varieties, most of them Cabernet Sauvignon. As of the 2012 vintage, Vittorio's Vineyard is USDA Certified Organic, and so our Vittorio's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which will be released later this year.
"We've always tried to take a proactive role in preserving the health of the lands we have," explains vineyard consultant Larry Bradley. "Vittorio's Vineyard has actually been organic for the past five seasons, but the process of certification takes a while." What this means is that no chemicals or inorganic fertilizers are used that could leach into the groundwater. "This of course is more costly," says Larry, "but we believe we're doing the right thing and that the resulting wines will be more flavorful."
The spacing between vines in Vittorio’s Vineyard have been planted with all organic cover crops, mostly bell beans and other legumes and grasses. "Green manures," as Larry describes them. "We want lean soils," he says, "and we supplement the weaker areas with fish emulsions and other organic composts."
At just over 2400 feet, Howell Mountain is among the highest vineyards in all of Napa Valley. The unique climate of this vineyard produces wines with a firm structure, intense fruit flavors, earthy spice, and round acidity. The ashy, iron-laden soils are perfectly suited for growing full-bodied, peppery Zinfandel that have inspired a dedicated following from many V. Sattui fans. The Black-Sears family is committed to caring for the land they call home, farming organically and biodynamically in the vineyard and in their orchards and gardens. Wine lovers who have enjoyed the fruit and the wines of the Black-Sears vines will testify: "there's just something special about that vineyard."