The need for sustainable business practices has never been greater, and the wine industry, from growing grapes to making the wine, has often been at the forefront of this movement. A prime example, and recent discovery, is LangeTwins Winery.
Monterey Wine Competition
Each year I head north to judge at the Monterey Wine Competition. I always have a great time reconnecting with friends from the wine industry while sampling wines of every type in a quest to find the best examples of winemaking. I found such a wine this year, and was delighted to learn that the winery in question was devoted to sustainability in the vineyard. (Wines are always tasted blind, so the judges don’t know who the wineries are until the competition is over.)
LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards
A favorite from the 2010 wine competition was the 2008 LangeTwins Viognier, winning a Platimum Medal due to the wine’s intense richness and complexity. While honoring the achievement of winemaker David Akiyoshi, I was just as impressed by the way in which Randall and Brad Lange, along with many family members, manage their Acampo-based vineyard and winery operation near Lodi, California.
With a blend of French and American Oak, and Stainless Steel aged Viognier, the wine has great viscosity while carrying bright aromas and flavors. The combination of the three lots gives a distinct white peach, pear, and pineapple flavor, with a hint of spice. Each quality compliments each other to make an inviting wine. Winemaker Notes
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Lange, Vineyard General Manager, to find out a bit more about their vineyard practices. LangeTwins Winery has a 23 year history of engaging in sustainable practices including water conservation, using native cover crop, solar energy, creek habitat restoration and endangered species protection. In Brad’s opinion, having an understanding of the native habitat is fundamental to ensuring their vineyard practices are integrated into the local ecology.
Representing five generations of farming, the Lange family has been selling grapes since 1974 and recently began making wine at their facility in 2006. With decades of vineyard and winery experience, they also provide vineyard management services to other growers in the region and engage in a variety of custom crush operations.
“Being generational means being sustainable, we’re thinking of our grandchildren.“
Unlike other farming practices, sustainable winegrowing is all encompassing in its approach, with concern for all surrounding environments, not just with the winegrapes that are grown. It is the balance of environmental health, economic profitability, and social equity. From vineyard management to sales, we have a commitment to improve our environmental practices. Ultimately, each element plays a vital role in the integrity and quality of our wine.
The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing
- Ecosystem Management
- Education, Training and Team Building
- Soil Management
- Water Management
- Vineyard Establishment
- Pest Management
As California’s first sustainable wine growing standards, the rules are designed to produce measurable improvements in environmental health of the ecosystem, society, and wine quality. A farming practice had to meet three criteria to be included as a standard:
- It must be measurable, in other words there must be physical evidence indicating the practice was carried out.
- The practice must maintain or enhance one or more of the 3 E’s of sustainability, those being Economic viability, Environmental soundness, and social Equity, or responsibility.
- The practice must be technically and economically feasible, and must not set an unachievable standard.
Keeping Track of LangeTwins Winery
Beyond their passion for sustainability, LangeTwins Winery has also adopted the latest advances in social media. Beyond visiting their website, you can follow winery news on their blog, become a fan on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter. And if you want their wines delivered to your door, the wine club will take care of that request.
In true Global Patriot style, LangeTwins Winery is producing excellent wines
while demonstrating a long term respect for the environment!