Skipstone Ranch

Organic Vineyard Practices

Using the earth’s natural resources to enhance the health of the vineyards and eliminate chemicals, organic and sustainable farming allows the grapes to express the natural complexity and balance of their terroir.

At Skipstone, no chemical herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers are used to manage the vineyards. Instead, beneficial cover crops such as oats, peas, beans and vetch are planted each fall to suppress weeds naturally and return valuable nitrogen back into the soil. These thriving plants also increase water retention in Skipstone’s special diversity of soils and attract beneficial insects to the vineyards, naturally reducing the need for irrigation and eliminating insecticides. Each spring, this cover crop is tilled into the soil while still green, left to compost naturally into the earth thus enhancing overall soil health. Perches and boxes for hawks, owls and bluebirds have been built around the property, encouraging them to feed on insects and other creatures that could potentially damage the delicate balance of the vineyard. Throughout the growing season, the vineyard staff carefully monitor for plant and soil health. After harvest, organic compost is also used throughout the rows to enhance soil quality as cover crop seed is once again applied.