Earlier this week, I tasted with Robert Hall of Robert Hall Winery in Cellar Door. He was visiting the area and brought several different flavors including a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc and a flavorfull Rhone Valley inspired blend called Rhone de Robles. While his wines impressed, it was the man himself that got my attention. A true grape farmer, Robert has been working among the vines since day one and knows exactly what is going on with each of his vines. He speaks passionately about the terrior of the Paso Robles region and was the moving force behind the region’s SIP (Sustainability in Practice) vineyard certification program. Under this program, SIP farmers commit to protecting both natural and human resources. Rules for certification cover energy & water efficiency, habitat conservation, pest management, soil, water and air quality as well as vineyard and fruit quality. Today, consumers have many options when it comes to selecting “eco-friendly” products.
Sustainability in Practice (SIP): Meet today’s needs without compromising the neds of future generations including environmental health, economic viability and soical equity.
National Organic Program: Optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.
Biodynamics: Create and maintain a unique, self-sustained farming ecosystem. Or as my grandmother puts it “planting by the stars.”
It is up to individual farmers to make the right growing decision for their vineyards. Each program has its benefits and economic impact for the farmer, environment and consumer. But when push comes to shove, we just want good wine made from good grapes grown in good soil shared with good friends. Cheers.