From the very beginning, Quivira has been committed to maintaining the long-term health of the Estate. It is our philosophy that the vines are only as healthy as the entire ranch. As such, we farm holistically and sustainably, relying upon principles formulated by Rudolph Steiner, the father of biodynamics. Quivira’s winegrowing program is driven by the seamless vision of quality shared between winemaker Hugh Chappelle and viticulturist Ned Horton.
Hugh is an innovative winemaker with breadth of experiences in mining terroir for flavor; he understands international benchmarks for fine wine. And Ned is thoughtfully committed to maximizing the vine’s potential and rigorously farms for the Quivira hallmarks of balance, freshness, and complexity. They are united, have shared objectives and are singularly focused on wine quality. We believe that farming this way is the best thing for the quality of the wines and not coincidentally it is the best thing for the entire community.
SUSTAINABILITY AT QUIVIRA
Quivira Vineyards' farming practices have their roots in the principles formulated by Rudolph Steiner, the father of biodynamics. With the ultimate goal of being completely self-sustaining, in the vineyards and gardens we strive to limit off-farm inputs by generating fertility through the composting of winery pomace and estate livestock manure. We use extensive cover cropping in the gardens and vineyards to support fertility and soil health. This practice also serves to strengthen the farm as a whole by moving away from monoculture through crop diversity. Another core tenet of our farming practices lies in biological diversity.
The creeks and riparian corridors that run through Quivira's property provide tremendous diversity as well as a home to Coho salmon and Steelhead trout during the spawning season. We are also committed to integrating plants, animals, and microbes into Quivira’s natural surroundings and creating perfectly balanced self-regulating systems. Quivira is unique in that we not only create all of our prepared vineyard applications, but we grow the material on the Estate.
We removed a half-acre of vines to make room for a five hundred cubic yard compost pile. By composting and effectively using cover crops, we help to return the natural fertility to the soil. The vineyard is only as healthy as the compost that nourishes it, thus we rigorously maintain our compost.
Animals are important to sustainable agriculture as they contribute to the Estate’s biodiversity and create self-regulating systems. We raise pigs that are fed from the garden waste. Our cows graze in the vineyards and provide manure for the preparations. We maintain a diverse selection of nine breeds of chickens that enhance the estates biodiversity as well as provide eggs for our employees.
Quivira maintains beehives in our garden to encourage pollination of our open-pollinated produce varieties which are more genetically diverse. Although vines are self-pollinating, everything else on the estate relies on insect pollination which is all crucial to closing the self-sustaining circuit on our property.
Since 1998, we have been working with California Department of Fish and Game and other organizations to restore Wine Creek for its native Steelhead trout and Coho salmon population. The riparian corridor of Wine Creek meanders through the middle of the Quivira property on its way into Dry Creek, which also provides a riparian habitat along the entire eastern boundary. Quivira was the first Dry Creek winery to devote resources to creek restoration. Many of our neighbors have followed suit and the restoration goes 14 miles down Dry Creek, serving as a model for public-private partnerships in ecological restorations.
A 55kW solar electric system has supplied over half of Quiviraʹs energy needs since 2005.