Since its inception a few years ago, “Project Terroir” has led us to new insights about our Camp Meeting Ridge Estate and Sea View Ridge Estate vineyards and allowed us to begin producing new block-specific wines. All of us here are excited about the wines we have produced in recent vintages. Our new block wines are an educational and rewarding way to explore our estates through aroma and taste. Please visit the Explore the Estate section of our website to use our interactive vineyard maps to see the location of these blocks as well as data on soil, elevation, clones, spacing, and more!
At Flowers we focus a lot on expressing a sense of place; but, our people drive the passion behind our wines. Bringing together our collective beliefs, thoughts, and personal experiences allow us to continually adapt our practices in order to make the absolute best wines. The extreme weather, soils, elevation, and isolation of our Estates pose a variety of challenges which are uncommon in many of California’s other growing regions. Our team’s ability to understand the vineyards, their commitment to biodynamic farming and their extreme hard work allows us to “farm on the edge of lunacy.” Biodynamic farming practices stand as just one of the tools we use to connect passion, people and place. We continue to observe how our vines thrive and respond to the changes that we have implemented over the past few years. Many blocks are producing significantly higher quality fruit with greater complexity; while other sections continue to demand further attention and care.
As an example, our 3’ x 3’ spaced Pinot Noir vines at Camp Meeting Ridge Estate (CMR) do not allow for tractors or other equipment to move between them, so building healthy soils through the composting of organic matter, soil aeration, tilling etc. was not possible previously. So, with the tremendous effort of our entire team, we went back hundreds of years to the methods used – before tractors – and turned to the Amish of Pennsylvania for guidance. The Amish horse-drawn-plow, pictured to the right with Dave Keatley (Winemaker) is naturally pulled by a horse; but given our incredibly steep slopes, this was not an option. Matt Osgood, our Biodynamic Director and Viticulturist developed a pulley system and rope attached to a winch on the back of a Ford F150 pick-up to pull the plow through the rows. We cannot express how exhausting this is given the soils had never been tilled in the past; but, the dedication of the entire Flowers team get it done every year in a collective effort to create healthy soils.
Soils are the lifeblood of the vine and healthy soils mean healthier vines and better wine. In our system, cultivation of cover crops and compost help to sustain a balance within the soil and foster a healthy immune system and greater longevity without dependency on chemical or salt based fertilizers. We reap what nature intended.
Follow Project Terroir and learn with us using the hashtag #ProjectTerroir on our social media communities listed in the sidebar under Connect with Flowers.