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Araujo Estate Wines, California – Bart and Daphne Araujo

February 2, 2012

Why do you do what you do?

In 1990, we were fortunate to be able to acquire the Eisele Vineyard, which had been famous since 1971 for producing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that made extraordinary wines.  Our goal has always been to reinforce the unique terroir of the vineyard and to be excellent stewards of this amazing place.

Why do you choose to do it the way you do?

Organic and Biodynamic farming methods have kept the soils healthy and balanced, leading to healthier vines. These methods are the most effective of any we have used or studied, and they work without inputs of inorganic chemicals that would disrupt the balance on our farm.

Matt Taylor at Araujo

What obstacles have you overcome?

In the mid 1990s, there was a lack of readily available knowledge regarding organic and biodynamic farming, so we had to search out talented people in those fields to advise us.  There were few if any vineyard managers or consultants who were even interested in making the change from conventional farming.

What disasters have you survived?

Our biggest challenge during the growing season, not including frost, is heat.  Almost every summer in Calistoga, we experience heat spikes that take temperatures over 100 degrees and sometimes over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  In 1996, before we converted to organic farming, the vines were actually burned by some torrid August heat, as was the fruit.  We had to remove burned berries one-by-one by hand before destemming and lost a lot of fruit.  Now that the plants are healthier, they are much better able to withstand heat events.

Are you happy with your work?

The improvement in vine health and farm vitality has been very gratifying over the years.

Is it worth the effort?

Yes, the experience of farming from pruning to harvest, of working with the land, of turning grapes into wines and wines into treasures is all worthwhile




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