We are proud to be a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. The program acknowledges a long-term commitment to continual improvement in the field of sustainable winegrowing and business practices, from grape to glass.
Soil manager Bobby Cannard and Fred Cline are extremely dedicated to sustainable practices. Nothing is more important than how we treat our vines. The wine we make is a direct result of what we put into the ground.
The Green String farming method developed by Fred and Bobby is a system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. These methods minimize pollution from the air, soil, and water, and optimize the health and productivity of soil, plants, animals and people. We make every effort to reduce soil erosion, and other harmful ecological footprints. Our self-nourishing system of minimal human intervention yields excellent quality crops.
Instead of herbicides, 1500 sheep and 500 goats roam our vineyards, tasked with removing invasive weeds. In spring, they munch on new growth between the vine rows. During summer months, sheep clear the weeds from the vineyard floor while chomping on vine leaves, allowing more sunlight to stream into the canopy and ripen the grapes.
Cover crops feed the soil; a wide mix of plant types are chosen specifically to produce soil-enhancing organic material. Cover crops are folded back into the soil while providing nutrition to our wooly weeders. These practices stimulate a living soil, a rich system where our vines can form deep roots.
We compost and reuse all digestible organic waste and materials from our winery including: 3000 tons of grape pomace per year, prunings from our trees and vines, plus chipped materials from the landscape. We turn this "waste stream" into biological stimulant and food for our soils.
Some rougher compost is further digested with the aid of worms, then biologically proliferated in a forced aerobic tea brewer. This “compost tea” is introduced to vineyards through the drip irrigation system, thereby applying the broad-spectrum indigenous matter directly to our soil.
We grind our own volcanic rock, then spread the crushed cinder onto the soil. Having a wide spectrum of mineralogy, these cinders provide our vineyards with a complex array of nutrients and trace minerals. We take these extra steps to make sure our vines have all the necessary components to build fullness of character in our wine.
Instead of harmful pesticides, we provide owl boxes and raptor perches in the vineyard. The night owl and the day hawk are the predators of gophers and mice. We count on birds of prey to help maintain ecological control. We create habitat for beneficial insects to do the same; cover crops house spiders that feed upon mites and leafhoppers.
In 2005, Cline was one of the first wineries to fully adopt solar energy. In 2018 we upgraded the original array with the latest technology, designed to offset 100% of our winery’s electrical consumption. Producing 586,000 kWh per year, our goal was to be energy independent. Our commitment to sun power also spares the air 436 metric tons of CO2 annually and is equivalent to removing over 1 million miles of driving each year.
We do not use genetically modified
organisms in our farming or winemaking processes.