Pisoni Family Vineyards is proud to announce that we have been awarded a coveted California Green Medal for Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership for 2020. Now in its sixth year, the Green Medal confers only four awards annually as a way of recognizing farmers and vintners who promote and maintain practices that are environmentally sound, fiscally responsible, and socially equitable.
At Pisoni, we have long been committed to the principles of sustainable farming. First and foremost, this means maintaining healthy soil and preserving our beautiful acreage–most of which we leave fallow as a habitat for plant species and wildlife. Secondly, and equally importantly, we commit to fostering longstanding relationships with our employees. Now, as we recognize how climate change is impacting our environment, we are working all the more carefully to improve and to fine-tune sustainable practices that allow us to grow the highest quality grapes and to craft award-winning wine for future generations.
Each and every of our sustainable actions are great for the environment, but also things we love to work on.Mark Pisoni
While we are always delighted to receive praise for our wines from critics and connoisseurs, it is a particular pleasure to receive the Green Medal award in the Business category, which recognizes our approach to farming and our larger philosophy. We have developed this philosophy through long practice, benefiting from the wisdom and hard work of our grandparents, who began farming in the Salinas Valley, and from our father Gary, one of the first vintners to gamble upon the rugged soil in the Santa Lucia Highlands as a prime site for grape-growing. Gary’s sons –Mark, our vineyard manager, and Jeff, our vintner–continue this work, refining the quality of our grapes and our wine, and always with an eye toward doing so sustainably.
In the last several years, we have refined our water management by continuously measuring soil moisture, plant stress, and other environmental factors. We have established an insectary we planted with native species that adds color to the landscape while drawing beneficial insects to combat pests. We are proud of our orchards, which provide a wide range of delectable stone fruit, as well as of the fragrant honey our bees produce. We have long been committed to planting cover crops that improve our soil, protect it from erosion, and create biodiversity in the vineyard. We have initiated a program to share crops from our farm year-round with employees. Last but not least, we make decisions that benefit our long-term goals for best practices in terms of both quality and sustainability rather than focusing upon short-term production.
Accordingly, having programs and innovations like these commended by the distinguished eleven-person panel of scholars and wine growers who awarded us the Green Medal feels a special honor. In recognizing our work, this group, which includes the Director of Industry Relations at U.C. Davis’s Viticulture and Enology Departments and the Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, as well as the Program Manager for U.C. Berkeley’s Center for Responsible Business, the Program Director for Napa County’s Resource Conservation District and the SIP Certification Manager for The Vineyard Team, confers upon us a medal that is very near and dear to our hearts. We have been farming wine grapes in the Santa Lucia Highlands for nearly forty years. This year, having earned the Green Medal Award, we continue our practices of learning how best to steward Pisoni, Garys, and Soberanes Vineyards and to craft wines for our Pisoni and Lucia labels of which we can be justly proud.