What we taste in a great bottle of wine is often the result of where the grapes are grown and how they are maintained - referred to as terrior or "taste of place".
Working with the vines in such a way as to promote the uniqueness of where the grapes are grown, the soils and micro-climate of each vine, are all wrapped into the terrior of a great wine. Our mission is to be as environmentally-friendly as possible when it comes to winemaking and viticulture.
Our estate grown Zinfandel vines are now 40 years old and completely dry farmed. The combination of maturity and no irrigation, aside from mother nature, forces the vines to struggle a bit and seek water deeper into the soils.
By stretching their root systems through many layers of soil, a variety of minerals and nutrients are brought into the grapes. The grapes produced by these vines are smaller with a higher skin to juice ratio. This allows us to make highly concentrated wines, dense with flavor and texture. Additionally, our vines are self-regulating in that they will not over crop. We get smaller yields but higher quality grapes from these vineyards.
Come fall, the grapes have been harvested, the vines are entering dormancy and the soils need to be replenished. Cover crops are a great way to have a large impact in the vineyard naturally. In between the rows of vines, we plant a variety of cover crops to help the soil with water retention and erosion. The added vegetation attracts healthy insects promoting ecological balance in the vineyards. In the spring, we can till the cover crops into the earth adding much needed nutrients back into the soil.
As part of our Integrated Pest Management program we have built owl boxes to attract our feathered friends into the vineyards. By providing a safe place for the owls to reside in our vineyards, we can help to increase the declining barn owl population in our area.
Interesting fact: An owl family can consume upwards of 2,000 rodents per year, helping to lessen our use of pesticides and chemicals at Andis.
A large part of making a winery sustainable means recycling everything we possibly can. Our philosophy of returning to the earth all that we take from it ensures that the winery and vineyards will be healthy and fruitful for generations to come. This includes...
- MOG (Material Other that Grapes) is used for fertilizer in the vineyards.
- Bottles, boxes, corks, capsules, and foils, some of which are taken by local artists for various projects.
- Our "Wine On Tap" program utilizes refillable bottles and is an excellent way to cut down on waste. Bring in your Andis Carafe for a refill any day for just $15.