We are reminded that our passion for sustainability runs deep at Ancient Peaks. As ranchers and farmers, we believe that caring for the land is paramount to preserving our future. Our sustainable practices allow for resource conservation and habitat preservation, all while helping us grow wines of natural quality.
Here is a sampling of the sustainability initiatives that embody our love for the land:
Solar & Energy Efficiency
We practice energy efficiency in order to substantially reduce our carbon footprint. Our four solar installations at Santa Margarita Ranch generate 30 percent more electricity than we consume to farm Margarita Vineyard. Our winery is also outfitted with a solar plant, offsetting the power used to make our wine.
We employ “deficit irrigation” at Margarita Vineyard, which means we only water our vines during extreme drought conditions through targeted dripline irrigation. We also employ wind machines for frost control as an alternative to traditional overhead water application, resulting in substantial water use reduction.
Natural Pest Management
We manage vineyard pests naturally by promoting habitats for native predators, a program that includes bat boxes, owl boxes and raptor perches. Our 100 owl boxes and 16 raptor perches help keep the harmful rodent population in check, while the bat boxes help control troublesome moths and other insects.
We plant barley as an annual cover crop to reduce soil erosion, increase soil nutrients and prevent the growth of excess weeds. We also employ goat herds to provide a low-impact herbicide alternative for vegetation management. The goats eat, eliminate and digest excess weeds, with the added benefit of generating more nitrogen for enhanced soil fertility. We also use natural seaweed fertilizer to promote soil nutrients and healthy vine growth.
We maintain dedicated wildlife corridors that enable animals to pass freely through and around the vineyard, allowing for habitat access and preservation. Black bears, wild pigs, turkeys, deer and bald eagles are among the many native creatures that inhabit our rugged land.
Oak Tree Preservation
Margarita Vineyard was planted to conform to the contours of the land, and no oak trees were removed. Today, rotational grazing and other progressive ranching practices have resulted in the restoration of native grasses and a proliferation of young oak trees.
Thank you for celebrating Earth Day with us, the best is yet to come!
Download the Sustainability in Practice at Ancient Peaks Winery sheet here.