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Spottswoode Estate Vineyard and Winery, California – Mary Weber Novak and Beth Novak Milliken

February 17, 2012

Why do you do what you do?

We are fortunate to be the stewards of 45 acres of amazing vineyard land in Napa Valley, and we envision retaining family ownership into future generations. We are truly invested in our land, and thus take the best possible care of it so that we give back and build our soils, always looking toward the long term.

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

Farming organically, which we have been doing since 1985, is an important part of what we do and of who we are. We are passionate about the environment, and farming organically is just one of the ways that we act on pure sense of responsibility to take care of that which we are fortunate to have.

What obstacles have you overcome?

We have not encountered anything insurmountable, or anything that has ever made us consider not farming organically. I suppose the only real change is that one becomes comfortable with a vineyard that is not perfectly manicured – in fact, manicured vineyards now look odd to us – and one has to be proactive, as reactive does not work in organic farming. There are no quick fixes.

What disasters have you survived?

Phylloxera. Our entire vineyard has been replanted since the 1990s in response to Phylloxera. This has nothing to do with organics.

Are you happy with your work?

Very much so. Very proud, too.

Is it worth the effort?




From → Interviews

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