At Pressley Vineyards we wholeheartedly believe in being good keepers of the land. To us, this means continuous sustainability practices such as; taking care of the water sources that surround our vineyard, including the Sacramento River. Posting owl boxes throughout our vineyard for the owls to build nests in, which in turn the owls help us by controlling rodent populations. And, annually planting a cover crop in our vineyard, once we finish harvest, to help replenish our soils of the nutrients the vines used and helping prevent soil erosion. While these are common practices at Pressley Vineyards, we decided to take this a step further and apply for The Lodi Rules Sustainability program in Spring of 2018. In September of 2018, we were awarded our Lodi Rules Sustainability Certification.
Lodi Rules is an organization that we are very passionate about. Being California’s original sustainable viticulture certification program, established in 1992. Our very own, Pressley Vineyards Owner, Operator, and Farmer Charlie Hamilton sits on the committee. Being able to be hands-on with such an incredible organization, made us realize we absolutely wanted our vineyard to be apart of the many great vineyards that are Lodi Rules Sustainable Certified. To be a Lodi Rules sustainable certified a vineyard must have; a good business plan, to ensure the vineyard is successful for many generations to come. It must have good ecological practices, to allow the grower to identify carrying for and preserving the ecosystem. As well as good soil management practices, to ensure that specific nutrient management plans are being developed to keep the soil’s nutrient rich, and able to grow healthy vines for generations to come. These, along with sustainable water management practices, pest management practices, and human resources management are the six criteria that are required to be Lodi Rules Sustainable Certified.
We began the process by doing an online self-assessment of the Lodi Rules Sustainability Requirements, we then applied to become Lodi Rules Certified, once our application was approved we were tasked with creating a binder, that contained six chapters with the above-mentioned categories. A vineyard is required to be proficient in all chapters to be considered Lodi Rules Certified. Once we completed our binder we were audited by a third party to ensure that all sustainability requirements were met. This auditor went through our binder chapter by chapter and then went out to our vineyard to ensure that we were putting the sustainability practices we talked about within our binder into our vineyard.
In September of 2018, we received our Lodi Rules Certification. We are so proud of this certification. While it was a lot of work, pulling all the information together, creating the binder, ensuring that we were making sustainable decisions on a daily basis, and even changing some of our farming practices to be more sustainable we will proudly be displaying the Lodi Rules Sustainability certification emblem on our 2018 Pinot Noir.
We hope you enjoyed learning about this process. If you have any questions be sure to email us at [email protected], or [email protected]