Each year we plant a cover crop after the grapes have been picked, either Barley or more legumes (beans/peas). This helps to increase the soil’s organic matter, cycle nutrients and provide erosion control.
Natural Pest Control
We have bird perches and owl boxes in each vineyard so that birds and owls will come and hunt for gophers and other rodents in the vineyards.
We compost all our grape pomace from the winery’s winemaking process for both Balletto and our custom crush clients, for 9 to 10 months before spreading and tilling back into our vineyard soil the next spring. Incorporating the compost helps improve soil structure, increases soil nitrogen, helps with positive microbiological activity and provides other micronutrients to the soil. *Pomace: the solid remains after destemming and pressing – skins, seeds, stems and any remaining pulp.
In order to respect the land and environment around our vineyards, we make sure the border areas are properly maintained so that we protect the natural habitat. We also maintain the Oaks and remove any fallen trees within our vineyards. Our viticulture department also utilizes California’s “PRESCRIBE” program to minimize any impacts to threatened or endangered species.
LODI Rules Certified Sustainable Vineyards
Our vineyards are like an extension of our family, so we treat them accordingly. We sample soil and water and closely monitor the vineyards to make informed decisions and minimize the amount of fertilizer and other inputs that we use in our vineyards. Our vineyards have been third party certified as Sustainable for over 8 years. LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing is California's original sustainable viticulture program.
All the water in the winery that is used for Wine Production is recycled and re-used for irrigation and Frost Protection. The water is settled into 3 ponds and then transferred to the larger 10 million gallon storage pond where it completely settles out. Water is then added from the City of Santa Rosa recycled water supplies to compensate the needs of the vineyard. This helps us decrease our ground water usage to a very small percentage of the water needs for the winery’s vineyard.
Soil Moisture Monitor
We use soil moisture probes in our vineyards at various depths depending on the type of the soil. This helps us truly know the moisture content in each individual vineyard, so we can custom tailor our drip irrigation to each individual vineyard and only water when it is necessary.
We put in solar panels to help offset utility costs and usage over 10 years ago. The roof of our pumping station is 100% solar panels and supplies about 25% of the energy needs for the winery. However, in the future we hope to add to our Solar Energy to help offset even more energy use for the Winery.
The roof of our barrel storage building was built specifically so that solar panels could be installed in the future at an angle for maximum benefit.
We support the Sonoma County community and purchase locally whenever possible. We participate in local community service groups and donate untold amounts time and donations to help better our community. The Balletto Family supports Sonoma County.
We strive to create a positive work environment for our employees. Safety and social equity are very important in today’s workplace as well as an excellent benefit package is provided for all employees. Our field workers and their families are very important to us. We help with housing whenever possible. Within 6 months we hope to complete building additional housing for at least 35 more employees.
Watch the Videos
PRUNING AT BALLETTO VINEYARDS
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE VINEYARDS
We are proud to be a part of a county that is committed to becoming the first 100% sustainable wine region in the nation by 2019.