Practicing Sustainability

Now and For Future Generations

"Above all else, we’re pursuing balance. The restoration of natural systems puts less burden on the caretakers, allows us to focus on growing the healthiest grapes, and produce the highest quality wines we possibly can.”

– Blair Fox, Head Winemaker

Viognier grapes on the vine in sunlight

Winemaking Starts With Farming

From bud break in spring to the celebration of harvest in autumn, vineyards are a dynamically changing ecosystem that require constant care and attention. The winemaking team, together with Coastal Vineyard Care, follows best practices in sustainable agriculture in a number of ways:

Conservation of Natural Resources

Water is a precious commodity in California. It is only applied based on the needs of the vines as determined by visual inspection as well as soil and plant-based monitoring sensors. The quality of the water is also monitored to ensure that the vines are receiving the best water possible, while maintaining the condition of our irrigation infrastructure.

Winemaker Blair Fox walking the vineyard

Treading Lightly on the Land

The biological health of soil is the key to a thriving vineyard. Over the years, we have layered in best practices around soil management, including introducing beneficial ground cover to deliver nutrients naturally.

Natural soil management:
  • Prevents erosion
  • Restores nutrients
  • Reduces need for human intervention

Shoot thinning and leaf removal are other natural interventions that can be used to combat mildew and the fungus botrytis.

An owl box in the vineyard

Natural Pest Control

Not all pest control has to be met with destructive chemicals. At the Fess Parker Home Ranch, owl boxes are placed throughout the vineyards to promote biodiversity and so that the owls will hunt the gophers and ground squirrels that damage the vines by eating their roots.

Even insect control can be managed with sustainability in mind. Coastal Vineyard Care developed an innovative approach to combat harmful vine mealybug populations not with pesticides, but by setting pheromone lures, which confuse the males during breeding season and prevent them from locating partners.

Vineyard Certifications

Fess Parker Winery is commited to sourcing grapes from vineyards that not only meet the rigorous standards we look for in the quality of the grapes themselves, but which also have done the work to adhere to the rigorous standards as defined by the available certification bodies, such as:

SIP Certified logo

SIP (Sustainability In Practice) Certified

“SIP Certified is dedicated to protecting the people and the planet by supporting sustainable winegrowing practices. 43 million bottles and counting are SIP Certified. Our winegrowers and winemakers understand that their actions have implications beyond the fence line.” ~ from sipcertified.org

  • Rodney’s Vineyard – SIP certified in 2020
  • Bien Nacido Vineyard – SIP certified since 2012
  • Fiddlestix Vineyard – SIP certified since 2013
  • Camp 4 Vineyard – SIP certification pending
CSWA Certified Sustainable logo

CSWA Certified Sustainable

“Introduced in 2010 by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE is a statewide certification program that provides third-party verification that a winery and/or vineyard adopts and implements stringent sustainable winegrowing requirements based on the industry’s code of best practices, and commits to continuous improvement in those areas.” ~ from sustainablewinegrowing.org

  • Sanford & Benedict Vineyard
Vineyard workers harvesting grapes

Investing In Our People

In addition to providing safe and fair working conditions, Fess Parker Winery is proud to offer competitive employee wages and benefits, including a profit sharing program distributed across all divisions of the organization.

The winery is also committed to the team’s professional growth, with development opportunities from “tailgate meetings” on the vineyard to certifications through GuildSomm and the Court of Master Sommeliers.