The Art of Sustainable Winegrowing

When it comes to gifts from Mother Nature, wine has to be one of my absolute favorites. When I was in Napa earlier this year, I wanted to take the opportunity to visit a sustainable winery and learn what it means to operate as such.

So my ever-supportive sisters and I paid a visit to Round Pond Estate, one of the larger estates in Napa Valley’s acclaimed Rutherford region which produces some of the most coveted Cabernet Sauvignon fruit (and after tasting one, I knew I wouldn’t leave without splurging on a bottle). Round Pond defines sustainable winegrowing as follows:

“A quality conscious, socially responsible and environmentally sound approach to farming. In practice, sustainable winegrowing focuses on encouraging natural processes that promote soil health, such as erosion control, native cover crops and composting. In addition, it promotes positive plant-soil interactions and emphasizes a concerted reduction in the use of chemicals and pesticides. More than just caring for the land, sustainable winegrowing also believes in supporting the individuals who work the land – treating them fairly, and with dignity.”

From integrating bird-feeders throughout the vineyard to keep insect pests at bay to almost their own ingredients for the on-site restaurant and tasting room, Round Pond works hard to keep their footprint at a minimum and prevent dangerous chemicals and pesticides - used as shortcuts elsewhere in the industry - from contaminating their soil and rivers.

After learning about the process and care for their land, and tasting the AMAZING result in their wines, I’ll definitely be looking for more sustainably-made wines to sip. Here are a few additional winemakers worth looking into:

  • Ferrari-Carano - Don’t miss their Sangiovese Rosé

  • Dutton Estate - I recommend the My Father’s Vineyard Syrah

  • Tangent - Try the Stone Egg (a unique barrel shape that adds depth of flavor) Albariño