Our vineyards and sustainability

Our wines enjoy the warm days and cool nights in the Willamette Valley producing the bracing acidity that is nimble with food. Foodies everywhere are searching for these fresh vibrant wines and you will find St JOSEF’S listed on many ‘best buy’ and ‘best value’ lists.

St Josef’s sustainability

llamaWhen we first planted the vineyards in 1978 there was no word ‘sustainability’. We just called it doing the right thing. Remember this is 1978, years before the world had heard of Starbucks & micro-brews and ‘You light up my life’ was the #1 song. hese vineyards contain some of the oldest vines in the area and look like sturdy soldiers spreading up from the soils.

Vineyards and farms need to be tended with care and long term guidance. Since our inception we have used time-honored techniques to keep it as natural as possible. Our vineyard has multiple soil types – from our benchland vineyards of marine sediment and our hillside vineyards with sandy loam & Jory soils. We planted a special grass between the rows to prevent erosion and keep weeds at bay. This grass seed was developed by Oregon State University and it also helps regenerate the soils in spring time. Our vineyards are maintained without the use of irrigation, harsh chemicals or fertilizers. We take the grape skins & lees from the harvest crush and add them back into the soils for fertilizer. We plant an in-row cover crop during the winter for extra nitrogen additions. Our new landscaping crew of 7 goats and 2 llamas are in place to keep the spread of noxious weeds and non-native plants to a minimum. And several owl boxes and hawk stands are used in the vineyards as natural pest controls.

For our efforts we are recognized as ‘LIVE’ certified (Low Input Viticulture and Enology); as one of the 10,000 acres of vineyards (out of 600,000 acres) in the west to receive this honor. Since we also have a natural stream and pond on the site we have also been ‘Salmon Safe’ certified. This means that we take care of the water in the same sustainable way.

Enjoy the wines, wildlife and hospitality of St Josef’s.