Jul 16, 2017

A Look at People, Planet, Prosperity with SIP Certified

The Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified program certifies that vineyards and wineries meet a strict threshold for environmental and human resource protection. The program relies on independent verification and inspection, is free from conflict of interest, and is 100% transparent with regards to the standards and rules.

SIP Certified is dedicated to the 3 P’s of Sustainability – People, Planet, Prosperity. They are committed to the ‘3 P’ approach, ensuring that both natural and human resources are protected, all of which means you can enjoy wine that has been grown for the greater good. Gives one that warm fuzzy feeling. But all this requires a vision and a plan and a structure that allows the looking at the bigger picture. One that allows things to change if necessary to stay the course of the vision.

There is a realization for those who follow the SIP practice's that how they farm impacts not only their vineyards, but things beyond their fence lines, so there is an independent verification and certification practice that protect the community, the workers, and the environment.

In this article we are focusing on the 'Planet' P
SIP practices require the monitoring of soils, plants, and weather, irrigating vines only when needed and measuring water usage in the winery to prevent waste. Sustainable viticultural methods include cover crops for erosion control, owl boxes for rodent control, native oak tree retention for ecosystem balance, planting to drought resistant rootstock, and advanced irrigation systems for water conservation.
Keeping water clean by growing grasses to reduce erosion and filter storm runoff and also filtering winery water for reuse. There is the introduction of beneficial insects, attracting raptors, and plant enriching cover crops to keep vineyards healthy and the use of alternative fuels and energy sources like solar and wind, minimize tractor use reduce their carbon footprint, and use insulation to increase energy efficiency. There is even the use of wildlife corridors to give animals access to traditional watering holes and food, helping to maintain biodiversity.

Improvement comes in the form of annually updating their farming and wine processing and using standards such as Best Management Practices to evolve with new science, technology and research. Today, there are over 40,300 certified acres throughout California protecting the future of the land they farm on.

Happy Tasting Adventures,


Jul 2, 2017

Tenuta Vitalonga Winery in San Francisco

At the recent James Suckling and Great Wines of Italy 2017 we not only tasted some amazing Italian wines we again made some new friends. Gian Luigi Maraville was one of those new friends. Meeting folks at a tasting is always fun but the expectation of any future followup is low. You know, everyone is having fun and it all sounds good after some wine, food and laughs. However with the type of  offer on hand we cannot miss this opportunity to go back to Italy and have part of a travel plan in that includes what sounds like an amazing place.

We tasted a lot of great wines and as we were discussing some of our favorites we came back to double check our palates and Gian was excited to see us. We started chatting about the wines of Tenuta Vitalonga Winery and the area and discovered he was also the Mayor of his town.  The same town his father and his farther had been Mayor of. As we talked wine and vineyards he told us of the family property and invited us to visit. We warned him that we are the traveling type and may very well come and stay. He was unconcerned and reiterated his invitation. As we sipped on his lovely Terra di Confine we decided that the trip was on.

Terra di Confine is the name by which the Marvalle family has called their estate wine since way back when. Back in the day, this wine was produced on the property in one of the Etruscan caves. This cave has became the wine cellar.  The Ficulle area is on the border of Tuscany and Umbria. Terra di Confine is a blend of Montepulciano and Merlot and is aged in French oak for 12 months producing a very lovey balanced wine.

We enjoyed our tasting and conversation Gian and just so you know we will be coming to visit as soon as we figure out when our next Italy trip is (2018-2020) so be rewarned! Ciao ciao.

Happy Wine Adventures,