A fourth generation descendant of a California farming family, Don Wallace has been the driving force working to implement sustainable farming practices at Dry Creek Vineyard. His efforts and direction have established Dry Creek Vineyard as a leader in the movement in Dry Creek Valley and the industry as a whole.
Sustainability at Dry Creek Vineyard is a way of life. From our 100% solar energy to the recently completed fish habitat restoration project along the Dry Creek, a sustainable mindset permeates our winery culture.
Our commitment to sustainable agriculture and minimal off-farm consumption is multifaceted. Advancements in viticultural technology go hand-in-hand with respectfully managing our space on this planet. Our ultimate goal is to turn our vineyards over to the third generation in even better condition than they are today.
To do this, we employ a number of strategies. Growing cover crops like clover and bell beans rebuild depleted soil by releasing bound nutrients in the soil, minimizing the need to import fertilizer. Cover crops also reduce erosion because they work as bank stabilizers, attracting beneficial insects that help balance the insect population.
In addition, we use the most state-of-the-art vineyard equipment and strategies available today. From soil mapping and data gathering by way of global-positioning satellites, to analyzing the soil makeup with weather stations to more accurately determine when sulfur applications are necessary, we employ whatever technology we can to make sound vineyard decisions. In 2012, the winery completed installation of solar panels. With solar energy now powering the daily energy needs of the winery, Dry Creek Vineyard’s “off grid” approach has taken another step in protecting and preserving our environment.
We are constantly pushing for techniques that will benefit the quality of wine at Dry Creek Vineyard and the quality of our lives and those of future generations. In 2013, the winery was an integral partner with the Sonoma County Water Agency in the Creekside Restoration Project along the Dry Creek. This critical project http://www.scwa.ca.gov/drycreek/ will provide a needed habitat for the endangered Coho and Steelhead salmon. Whether it’s Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) to conserve water or raptor perches in the vineyard, our goals are always the same: make better wine and create a better place to live and work.
2013 Salmon Steward Case Study
Dry Creek Vineyard partnered with the Sonoma County Water Agency on an ambitious habitat enhancement project along six miles of Dry Creek that will promote the recovery of endangered Coho salmon and threatened Chinook salmon and Steelhead trout in the Russian River watershed.