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Can Dry Farming Help Make U.S. Vineyards More Sustainable?

Martha Stewart Living highlighted Chateau Montelena and Winemaker Matt Crafton’s ongoing sustainability efforts in a story focused on dry farming. Until the 1970’s when irrigation became popular, dry farming was a popular method used to grow grapes in many leading wine regions. “Now some U.S. winemakers are renewing their focus on dry farming in the hopes that it can not only help them be more sustainable and continue farming in a changing climate, but also produce expressive wines.”

The writer notes that Chateau Montelena, “the small, family-owned and operated winery, is 100 percent powered by the sun” and is mostly dry farmed. Crafton speaks about the changing harvest season climates and pressures from the raging wildfires in context of how quickly his team needs to adapt. “We custom tailor our approach to winemaking, changing it based on what we see but with a view of the long term,” Crafton says. “What’s going to happen in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, we’re trying to do it right now, so the next generation will be able to farm here.”

Read the much more in depth piece to learn more about this topic HERE


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