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Amapola Creek Vineyards & Winery, California – Richard and Alis Arrowood

July 12, 2012

We farm our grapes organically for several reasons. First, we believe it results in a higher quality product. We can see the difference in the vines.  When a vineyard is farmed without synthetic fertilizers and intensely dangerous pesticides, the vines are healthier. The fruit tastes better, and so the wine produced is finer.

Second, we believe in being good stewards of the land. We have an excellent spot for Cabernet Sauvignon here in the Mayacamas, and we want to be able to farm excellent quality wine grapes here indefinitely. That means that we need to take care of the site, protecting the quality and quantity of the topsoil, managing the surrounding wildlife, essentially tying the vineyards into the adjacent landscape so that they become a part of it, instead of an imposition upon it.

Farming grapes in this manner is hard. Since we do not use dangerous herbicides, weeds often have to be managed by hand. We are unwilling to use highly toxic pesticides, so the vines have to be sculpted by hand in a way that discourages pests from taking hold. We do not use synthetic fertilizers; therefore we have to carefully apply cover crops in a manner that replenishes what nutrients are removed by the vines each year.

In the end though, it is clear that all of this work definitely pays off. All of the effort we put in to growing our grapes organically shines through in the final product, which we feel is a true gem of California wine.






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