The Indelicato family's sustainable farming philosophy recognizes that growers are merely long-term stewards of the land they farm, and seeks ways to sustain the viability of the land they cherish. The Indelicato family favors natural over manmade controls and encourages biodiversity. With a large population of many different organisms, nature is able to create her own natural system of checks and balances, so that no single organism can grow sufficiently to cause economic harm.
The Indelicato family's stewardship has helped create a magnificent natural habitat that did not exist before at San Bernabe Vineyard. Among the full-time residents are wild boar, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, gophers, badgers, deer, mountain lions, eagles, hawks, falcons, roadrunners, ducks, egrets, herons, doves, crows, starlings, vultures and a variety of fish.
The viticulturists at San Bernabe and Clay Station vineyards have developed specially-designed owl nesting boxes. These nocturnal predators hunt down and consume pesky rodents that damage tender young vines.
Native cover crops grow between the vine rows. These grasses and legumes harbor and encourage beneficial insects, which in turn prey upon insect pests. They also form a kind of organic carpet that minimizes dust in turn reducing harmful vine-snacking mites.
Delicato's San Bernabe Vineyard is a founding member of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, an organization formed by growers and University of California Extension specialists to identify and promote environmentally safe, viticulturally effective, sustainable farming practices. San Bernabe also supports and participates in the "Code for Sustainable Winegrowing Practices" promulgated jointly by the Wine Institute and California Association of Winegrape Growers.
Clay Station Vineyard proudly adheres to the Lodi Rules Program of Sustainability set forth by the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission.
The Lodi Rules program has two components: sustainable winegrowing practices standards (The Lodi Rules), and a Pesticide Environmental Assessment System (PEAS) that measures the environmental impacts of all pesticides, organic and synthetic, used in a vineyard during the year. To qualify for certification, a vineyard has to achieve a minimum number of sustainable farming practices points based on The Lodi Rules, and not exceed a maximum number of pesticide impact points calculated using PEAS.
– Source: Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission
The ultimate goal is to farm with as little impact on the environment as possible, and to ensure a healthy life cycle for all of the inhabitants of the vineyards. Every organism, beneficial or not, participates in the ecosystem at San Bernabe and Clay Station vineyards.
Wine quality starts in the vineyard, and a vineyard is first and foremost a living thing. Delicato Family Vineyards will always strive to farm with the health of the environment in mind, while still providing quality wines, mindfully farmed and vinified for our consumers.