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At Red Car, we believe that we are stewards of the land – dedicated to being environmentally and socially responsible to our community. To us, sustainability goes beyond farming practices in our vineyards; it’s who we are. Our values reflect those of a limited-production winery and small team inspired by the topography and environment where we grow our cool-climate wines.
We appreciate that our wines speak directly from the soil and maritime climate and with that, we find it our mission to be environmentally and socially aware.
Sustainable Practices from Viticulturist and Vineyard Manager, Greg Adams
Red Car’s practice has been to manage soil fertility through a combination of no-till, alternate row tillage, and selective cover crop applications. Generally speaking, our vineyard’s native vegetation is managed to promote native grass species that are inherently drought tolerant and have early dormancy to minimize soil water/nutrient competition with grapevines. So that we reduce the need to “import” nutrients and organic matter to promote balanced vine growth, every 3-5 years, we begin a sequence of alternate row cover cropping using state of the art cultivation equipment and a range of leguminous plant species that “fix” nitrogen from the atmosphere during the winter and stores it within their plant structure. Then, along with the recycling of the previous year’s vine growth, we incorporate this biomass into the soil in the spring to maintain a healthy organic matter content capable of sustaining naturally balanced vine development.
Unlike many production vineyards, the natural surroundings of our Estate and Heaven & Earth vineyards host a naturally, bio-diverse environment. Raptors and a host of other avian species thrive in and around our vineyards and provide natural predation of insect and small vertebrae pests. Additionally, because of our selective tillage practices, native (and non-native) flower species develop undisturbed and provide natural insectaries.
Water is a precious commodity for our remote vineyard locations and community. Through years of experience and careful observation of vine development, we provide supplemental irrigation during key physiological periods and only when absolutely necessary to assure healthy vine and fruit development.
Our vineyard’s thrive in their naturally bio-diverse environment. Rather than using poison baits or toxic pesticides, we occasionally trap gophers to reduce their potentially vine damaging populations.
If you have additional questions about sustainability at Red Car, don’t hesitate to ask us. Please email [email protected].