Brutocao Vineyards Sustainability Practices
Following is a list of categories in the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing and just some of the sustainability practices we employ:
Viticulture – Canopy management: Spurs are thinned to one shoot per bud and two buds per spur with an optimum number of shoots per cordon foot appropriate for that variety. Weak and non-fruiting shoots and suckers sprouting from the head are removed.
Soil Management - Fertility: When making nutrient application decisions, leaf petiole analysis results are used as a guide and vine vigor, fruit quality, wine quality, leaf symptoms, and vineyard history are factored into the decision. Site specific nutrient applications are made.
Water Management – Irrigation scheduling and amount: We use a pressure bomb throughout the irrigation season to measure the moisture content of the vines to determine our irrigation requirements.
Pest Management - Insect monitoring and management: We have a PCA that monitors our vineyard weekly and we keep a written record of what is found. Our control decisions are not only based on economic thresholds of destructive pests such as mites and leafhoppers but on the population of mite and leafhopper predators.
Wine Quality – Viticulture improvement: With the help of the winemaker we adjust our viticultural practices by determining which contribute positively or negatively to wine quality.
Ecosystem Management - Bioregions and watersheds: We are aware of the main watershed and tributary watersheds that our vineyard operations are located in and manage the vineyard operations to conserve water and protect water quality by using such practices as cover cropping, buffer strips and other erosion control measures that protect riparian areas and aquatic habitats, particularly from sedimentation.
Energy Efficiency – Alternative fuel sources: We track the amount of fuel used in the vineyard and the results are used as part of an overall energy monitoring and conservation plan. We use some alternative fuel sources in the vineyard.
Material Handling – Recycling: Some of the items we recycle include batteries, tractor tires, scrap metal, cardboard, oil and oil filters.
Human Resources – Safety Training: We conduct monthly employee safety and training meetings as the season progresses and safety issues change. The meetings are documented with dates and attendance. We also have a third party audit our complete safety program at least once per year.
Air Quality – Unpaved surfaces and roads: We use a combination of seeding or an approved anti-dust material on unpaved roads. Speeds and travel are restricted on and around the operation.