|Castoro Cellars sources grapes almost exclusively from their Estate Grown, sustainably farmed vineyards. Nearly all of their fruit comes from within the Paso Robles AVA. They select their grape sources carefully, matching vineyard location with the grape variety that thrives in that particular setting and employing vineyard techniques that produce the desired characteristics of each varietal.
Regional typicity is captured through Castoro’s diverse vineyard resources. Explains Assistant Winemaker, Mikel Olsten, “By sourcing grapes from all the different microclimates throughout the AVA, we are able to pull from all the pieces of the puzzle and create a complete picture that is truly representative of the Paso
Outdoor enthusiasts, Niels and Bimmer Udsen are avid stewards of the environment and seek out growers who share their sustainable farming focus. Both Cobble Creek Vineyards and the Whale Rock Vineyard are farmed organically with all remaining vineyards being SIP certified for Sustainability in Practice. Niels and Bimmer plan to continue transitioning to organic farming in all of their vineyards.
“Growing up in Denmark, there was a strong environmental focus. I have always enjoyed nature and when we planted our organic vineyards, it was for no reason other than it was the right thing to do. We continue this focus in all of our vineyards,” explains Bimmer. “Not only is it beneficial for the environment, it is better for our vineyards and for our vineyard neighbors and workers.”
All Castoro’s estate grown vineyards employ sustainable viticulture practices, such as the use of pomace (residue from grapeskins and seeds that have been semi-composted) for weed suppression and fertilizer, and predatory insect releases, which greatly reduce the need for pesticides.
These sustainable vineyard practices are carried out in conjunction with the vineyard management team contracted by Castoro Cellars, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. The leading vineyard management and development company on California’s Central Coast, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. are experts on Central Coast farming. Additionally, their participation in statewide organizations provides them with an industry-wide perspective.
Mirroring Castoro Cellars’ environmental focus, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. is responsible for overseeing daily vineyard operations in all of Castoro’s vineyards, as well as maintaining a strong working relationship with Castoro’s many growers. “We have very positive relationships with our growers, some of whom we have bought fruit from for over 20 years,” says Castoro Winemaker, Tom Myers.
To maintain these mutually beneficial relationships, growers’ techniques are monitored through regular visitations and yields and goals for the coming year are discussed. Castoro also initiates an annual growers’ meeting at the winery. Castoro provides lunch and the winemaking team hosts a wine tasting to display the grape characteristics desired and how they relate to vineyard practices.
Taking a leadership role in promoting the environmental responsibility of the wine industry, Castoro Cellars and Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. are both actively involved in the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT). CCVT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify and promote the most environmentally safe, viticulturally and economically sustainable farming methods, while maintaining and improving the quality and flavor of wine grapes. It represents a collaborative partnership of growers, wineries, consultants, researchers, and natural resource professionals.