approach. The less you manipulate the vineyard, the more pure the fruit we the true essence of the terroir of the vineyard shine through in the wine. surroundings effortlessly, so can Beckett. The juxtaposing labels of Peachy Canyon to Chronic Cellars mirrors the differences between the wines sold under each label. Maintaining separation between the various vineyards, labels and wine styles was recently becoming challenging to manage, which led Beckett to bring in another respected winemaker, Terry Culton, to take over the Peachy Canyon label. Culton is a very well respected winemaker with plenty of experience and clout to fill Beckett’s big shoes. To an experienced winemaker such as Beckett, speaking about sustainability and the efforts he and others are taking on the Central Coast is second nature. To Beckett, sustainable farming practices are not just about the environment, they are all about the wine. Vines that are “babied” with free flowing water do not have the same character as vines that need to work and seek water from deeper in the earth. You can really show off the character of the terroir when the vines are forced to dive deeper in the soil. So while the limited water resources in Paso Robles makes dry farming a practical approach, it is also a choice many famers make to obtain the best end product. “Being sustainable is a minimalist approach. The less you manipulate the vineyard, the more pure the fruit we receive is. This allow us to have the true essence of the terroir of the vineyard shine through in the wine.” Beckett states in summary of his preference for sustainable farming practices. While Beckett feels it is important for wineries to be sustainable in their practices and application, he knows that a certification is not necessary for implementation. Many wineries and people are using sustainable farming methods without being officially certified.
“Long before we were certified, we were practicing. We were conscious about our practices from day one,” he explains. In Beckett’s opinion, the collective wine community has been slow to take on sustainable farming methods. With 5000 acres of new wineries going in to Paso Robles, Beckett says it is important for people to think about the future and preserving this land for generations to come. He feels it is important for winemakers to understand the impact of their practices on the future. If one farmer cares enough, one farmer can certainly make a difference. His passion for incorporating sustainable methods extends beyond the vineyards and is something he faithfully incorporates into his daily life as well. With a bumper sticker on his car that boldly states “Paper Towels Suck,” it seems Beckett has no qualms about sharing his views. Simply stated, winemaker Josh Beckett sees sustainability as a choice to make the best wine the land can provide with a minimal amount of interaction. Sustainability is about caring about the future and daily efforts towards making a difference, one step at a time.
Peachy Canyon Winery 1480 North Bethel Road Templeton, CA 93465 Call 805-239-1918 Visit www.PeachyCanyon.com Chronic Cellars 2020 Nacimiento Lake Drive Paso Robles, CA 93446 Call 805-237-7848 Visit www.ChronicCellars.com SPRING 2013 THE WINEPRESS MAGAZINE
A Magazine dedicated to wine country in California