Here at Callaway, we’re constantly trying to improve our wines from vineyard to bottle and an essential piece to the puzzle is soil and plant health.  With that in mind, this year we’re focusing on how we can make our vineyards healthier and happier with an eye to the future and a more organic style of sustainability.

The principles are very simple: no chemical fertilizers, fungicides or pesticides.  For the past four weeks our vineyard crew has been applying a 100% liquid, organic fertilizer and soil condition that contains specialized microbiology that meets the plant’s nutrient requirements.  The soil conditioner will be applied three times over the course of the growing season and will add those precious organisms that have been lost from the soil due to chemical damage.  All the applications are applied through the drip irrigation system during regular scheduled watering.

Zinfandel leaf with stem removed for testing.

Regular monitoring of plant nutrients is essential. We pull ‘plant tissue’ – samples of petioles (stems) and leaves from the plants and take them from various locations in the vineyard.  These samples are then sent to a lab for analysis which will determine any nutrient deficiencies such as nitrogen, phosphorus and

A well balanced soil, with naturally applied nutrients and soil organisms, will lead to excellent plant health with vigorous leaf growth, even ripening fruit and better colored grapes. Overall quality in the vineyard leads to the most important result  – a higher quality, bottle of wine.   ~ Craig Larson, Winemaker

Callaway Vineyard & Winery's Winemaker, Craig Larson

Callaway Vineyard & Winery’s Winemaker, Craig Larson