Virtually every vineyard and winery owner will profess to want to be good stewards of the land and we are no exception. Our very existence and bounty depends on us making good, long term, sustainable decisions with regard to vineyard and wine production. We recognize that we have received a gift from previous owners of our property and our goal is to preserve this land for future generations to come. Toward that end, we have planted at least some grape varieties that require much less chemical use than others. We prefer to remove undergrowth from beneath the vines by hand rather than using herbicides. This is much more costly and time consuming but our goal is to reduce chemical use to the extent possible. We further use naturally generated fertilizers from our horse operation on all of our plants. We also mulch our vineyard trimmings plus make many of them into wreaths and other ornamental items so that they can be naturally recycled. We recycle our corks in the tasting room and use other techniques to minimize our impact on the environment. We also went to the expense of insulating the winery portion of our building to help reduce our energy consumption. These are but a few of the methods we employ and will continually look for other ways to improve this aspect of our operation as we gain experience over time.
It is not enough, however, to only be good stewards of the land because we must also be good stewards of the neighborhood. We are not immune to the fact that some find wineries to be a less than desirable activity. While we understand these concerns, we honestly believe that wineries can not only be good neighbors but good for the wider economic health of Virginia agriculture as well. Towards that end, our goal is to be a responsible member of the community and we ask our customers to help us in that regard. We are concentrating our efforts, therefore, on being a boutique winery in every sense of the word whose main emphasis is on the production of fine wines and not ancillary events. Since we are old car buffs, our idea of a winery activity is likely to be a cruise-in or perhaps a charitable or chili cook-off event. Check out the “Rewards” section of our website where we indicate that some portion of the proceeds from that program are donated to a local animal shelter. We are not set up for busloads of customers and we clearly will not become a “rowdy roadhouse”. We will ask our customers to help us respect the privacy of our neighborhood and remind them that this is a rural area where noise should not be a factor; where littering the roads is not acceptable; and where farm implements (such as our own tractors) are often on the roadways so caution is a must. Furthermore, our winery is also part of our home area and we too wish for our own privacy to be respected. We hope that our neighbors will then never know that they live near a winery unless, of course, they choose to visit, and for them, a special welcome mat is always out.