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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Three Reasons to Love Ampelos Wines

from the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association as published on www.sbcountywines.com
"Ampelos" (a Greek name meaning "vine") truly represents the focus of Peter and Rebecca Work which is a shared belief, that all great wines are made in the vineyard. Good grapes produce great wine. As winemakers and farmers, they believe that taking care of and respecting the environment is essential in producing excellent wines.
Rebecca and Peter Work Ampelos is one of the first vineyards in the US to be certified SIP (sustainability in practice), organic and biodynamic.
The estate vineyard has been planted with those varietals that showcase the location, soils and climate at the site. They are thrilled that those best suited to the Ampelos vineyard are those grapes which are their favorites! The varietals they have planted are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache and a little bit of Viognier, based on extensive clone diversity to provide their "spice cabinet".
Sustainable - in for the long term
Cover crop at ampelos vineyardSustainable farming utilizes the principles of ecology - the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term."
Sustainable farming is far more encompassing, and more difficult to define, than either organic or biodynamic practices. Sustainability looks to protect both natural and human resources, and oftentimes a sustainable farm will also be organically or bio-dynamically farmed. In addition to farming, sustainability includes practices to enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends, make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources, sustain the economic viability of farm operations and enhance the quality of life for farmers, their community and society as a whole.
Our winery of the week, ampelos, for instance has installed solar power for their vineyard and home. Read about their farming practices here.
SIP certified Vineyards and wineries can become SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified.The comprehensive rules for SIP Certification (known as Standards) address many interrelated elements of the whole farm system. Habitat conservation, energy efficiency, pest management, water conservation, economic stability, and human resources are some of the key elements of the program. The Standards look at the farm in its entirety: the worker, soil fertility, cover crops, wildlife, native plants, irrigation, and more. Click here to check out the Standards for certification and learn more about this program.

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