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They keep a flock of chickens and have installed owl and bat boxes around the vineyards for natural pest control. They keep all green waste on site as compost, turning one year’s garbage into another year’s fertilizer. They use an innovative system of ground cover between the rows of vines that minimizes soil depletion and maximizes nutrients without additives. They have installed solar panels in the sunniest parts of the property to “run the meter backward,” offsetting energy use in other parts of the production. In the latest evaluation of all their eco-friendly efforts, Still Waters received an astonishing 93 score out of a possible 100. If that were not enough, there is also the sustainability practice guests are most likely to enjoy: an organic garden that yields an abundance
of fresh produce for much of the year. Re-using the same water and fertilization resources they use on the grapes, Hoover and his staff are sharing their passion for organic farming with their guests. Come May and June, vegetable carts are parked outside of the tasting room, offering the winery’s fresh organic produce to guests with nothing but an open tip jar for compensation. Succulent heirloom tomatoes, crisp lettuces and cucumbers, and sweet peppers and melons overflow from the carts. “You’re here in town tasting wine and getting ready to go home and make dinner,” he says. “You get to go home with your own fresh ingredients.” The winery’s neighbors are also excited to be involved. Hoover explains it is not uncommon to see someone who lives just down the road stop by on the way home from work to pick up a bottle or two of wine and a bag of Still Waters’ vegetables for dinner. He acknowledges that SIP Certification is about more than just earning a certain label. “We want to avoid the short-term fixes,” he says, and do what’s truly best for the wine, the land, the community, and the very satisfied customers.
Still Waters Vineyards 2750 Old Grove Lane Paso Robles, CA 93446 Call 805-237-9231 Visit www.StillWatersWineyards.com
SPRING 2013 THE WINEPRESS MAGAZINE
A Magazine dedicated to wine country in California