Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rockroom - built to last?

As we say on the Rockroom website, one of the four Rockroom Winemaking Cooperative cornerstones is sustainability. That is a popular term right now, and not just in grape growing or wine making circles, and our view is that there is much work to be done to build clarity and understanding about just what sustainability means. For now we are happy to be part of that conversation and intend to make the topic of sustainability an important and growing aspect of what makes Rockroom wines special.
And so last week it was great to have some time to speak with Director of Vineyard Management Mitchell Klug. Mitchell recently joined the custom crush where we make Rockroom wines and that means we have access to this vineyard veteran as we continue to evolve our sustainability emphasis. (We could never afford access to a pro like Mitchell all by ourselves so here is another real plus to working with a premium custom crush facility.) By way of background, Mitchell has most recently overseen the development and management of a portfolio of over 25 vineyards and prior to that was in charge of nearly 1,400 acres of premium vineyards including the Opus One and To Kalon vineyards and he developed the sustainable farming program under the Mondavi Family wineries. Our meeting in San Francisco was a great discussion of the three legs of the vineyard "sustainability stool": environmental conditions, economics of the vineyard and social integrity of vineyard management. Look for more on this conversation in future posts, but for now I will say we are in good shape to continue evolving our sustainability mission.

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