While green vineyard practices are considered innovative, it's really a return to much older, even ancient ways of growing things.
At Flora Springs we believe part of honoring tradition is also establishing new values that both our ancestors and children's children would be proud to maintain. Our work is made far more meaningful when we think of ourselves as part of something larger, be that our family, our community, or our eco-system.
In all of our vineyards, healthy flora means healthy fauna, and one can find a large assortment of wildlife at home among our grapes. Some are more welcome than others: we've built raptor perches for falcons to keep our rodents at bay and houses for the blue birds that feed on insects. We can't keep everyone out, as the occasional wild boar sighting proves!
Organically-farmed Cabernet grapes from
Crossroads Ranch in Oakville, CA
The principals of Organic Farming:
- Building Healthy Soil: We get pretty excited about dirt around here, just ask vineyard director/proprietor Pat Garvey. He's been known to stop in the middle of a tour and start digging through the soil with his bare hands to show it off! Organic farming focuses on building healthy soil rich in beneficial microorganisms, organic matter, and humus. Through the use of composts and cover crops such as, Purple Vetch, oats, radishes, bell beans, and clover we can improve the health of our soils and in turn the health of our vines.
- Avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers: To protect ourselves, our employees and our community it is vital to us that our vineyards remain a healthy environment in which to work and live. In the spring you will see us disking, hoe-plowing, and mowing. It may seem antiquated, but it is a safer and just as effective.
- Conserving Biodiversity: There is such a thing as a beneficial insect, in fact there are far more beneficial insects than harmful. It is important to the health of our vineyards that we allow diverse plants to grow alongside our grape vines and attract the good guys. We respectfully ask you to please unplug your bug zapper!
- Quality: Without a doubt we are growing better more concentrated grapes. By using sustainable and organic methods, we force ourselves to farm with a more focused and watchful eye. There is no contingency plan. If we do our job correctly, eventually each vineyards eco-system becomes stronger and more self-sufficient. The evidence is in the bottle!
Sustainably-farmed Cabernet grapes from
Komes Ranch in Rutherford, CA
The principals of Sustainable Farming:
Currently there is no certifying body for sustainable farming practices, however we feel it is our responsibility as stewards of the land to farm in a manner that protects both our community and environment.
- Using compost to increase organic matter in the soil: Vineyard Director/Proprietor Pat Garvey is the compost king, his vineyard tours are a thing of legend!
- Installing blue bird nesting boxes
- Installing owl boxes to control the rodent population: you should hear them hoot at night!
- Installing raptor perches for hawks: a big night out for us is catching a glimpse of a redtail hawk before the sun goes down!
- Using drip irrigation to responsibly control our water usage
- Mechanically tilling rather than spraying herbicides
- Using cover-crops to limit soil erosion for healthier water ways: we could talk all day about cover crops: purplevetch, oats, radishes, bell beans, clover...
- Improving the habitat along the edges of our vineyards