Here at Trattore Farms, we aim to preserve the true essence of the fruit that goes into our wines and extra virgin olive oils. Whether there are blackberry flavors in our Zinfandel or peppery and pungent notes in our olive oils, these fruit characteristics come from the soil, air and water of our Dry Creek Valley estate. We believe in managing the agricultural techniques in a way that maintains these great resources of our property and the Dry Creek Valley as a whole, so that future generations may also enjoy the pleasures of the land as we do.
- Water from wine and olive processing is pumped to our 4-stage Water Recycling Plant.
- pH adjustment is made to a neutral pH of 7.
- Oxygen-producing microbes are added to two large holding tanks, which eat organic matter in the water.
- Aeration and mixing paddles in each Tank are enabled to precipitate out any solids.
- Solids are allowed to settle.
- Treated water is injected into the irrigation system for the vineyard and orchard.
- Grape and olive pomace are collected and moved to Compost Center.
- In addition to production by-products, we add other organic matter and green cow manure to the mixture in the Compost Center.
- Once the composting process has started, it is turned and mixed once a week.
- Finished compost is spread through a unique spreader that lays the compost directly down on the vines after harvest to build soil nutrients.
- Our compost has been analyzed for nutrients and found to be high in Potassium and Nitrogen, a perfect amendment to our soils.
Compost Tea Production
- Our custom Compost Center is designed to collect liquids generated during the composting process, which are then pumped into a holding tank.
- Tank is aerated and dosed with unsulfured molasses to feed aerobic bacteria beneficial to the soil and plant root systems.
- The resulting tea is injected into the irrigation system after bloom at 20 to 30 gallons per acre.
- The tea is also injected post-harvest to facilitate nutrient uptake and help the vine store carbohydrates available during bud break the following year.
- Rather than tilling the soil, we level our rows and plant a permanent cover crop consisting of native and beneficial plants.
- The cover crop is allowed to grow long enough to go to seed, replenishing it for the next season.
- We use a wood chipper to chop all our prunings in the vineyard rows, so they decompose quicker and return organic matter to the soils.
- By not turning up our soils by spading or disking, we encourage the growth of good bacteria and mycorrhizae, which help keep the vine’s root system healthy.
- Once the cover crop has been mowed, the stalks and root systems allow for better water penetration from the winter rains. The increased water holding capacity will enable us to use less water during the next growing season.
- By only mowing, we are doing fewer passes through the vineyard with the tractor. This results in less soil compaction, less fuel usage, less land erosion and less greenhouse gas emissions from equipment.
Two large solar plants are on-site, producing much of the energy we use on our Estate. Panels can be found on the south side of the Winery/Tasting Room building and on our “Red Barn” finished goods warehouse.
Cover Crops and Birds of Prey
Our property is a magnet for beneficial animals. We plant cover crops that attract beneficial insects (insectary crops) and have engineered our vineyard and orchard environment so that we have multiple birds of prey, such as Red Tail Hawks, in residence. Owl boxes, hawk perches, and bird calls promote a healthy bird-of-prey population, ensuring that rodents are kept in check naturally.
Electric car charging stations are provided to guests and employees.
We have two Tesla charge points and two 240 volt chargers suitable for most electric cars located in front of the side patio to the left left of the winery building.