Atwater Vineyards is committed to sustainable viticulture practices to obtain healthier vineyards, increase the quality of our wines, and ultimately create a safer environment for ourselves, our neighbors and the lake.
- We practice contour farming for erosion control and have permanent sod in the row middles of the vineyards.
- We use a post emergent weed program combined with cultivation under the vines.
- Weekly scouting the vineyards is instrumental for our insect and disease control.
- Our disease management practice starts with our choice of vines, trellis systems and vine hedging for continued airflow and sunlight penetration.
- The vines are fed with fish emulsion and a nutrient solution that increases the health of the vine.
- Century old techniques of using sulfur and copper are sprayed for mildew control along with current chemical formulations for disease suppression during the peak part of the season when the vines are most vulnerable.
- Fertility management starts with feeding the soil. A healthy soil creates healthy vines. Soil and petiole tests are evaluated annually to monitor nutrient content of the soil and vine nutrition.
- We compost our grape waste from the winery and spread the resulting compost in the vineyards the following year.
- We also mulch some row middles with round bales of straw and disc and replant a sod cover to aerate the soil, reduce compaction, and improve root growth.
- Pond for spot irrigation when needed.
We are currently participating in The New York Sustainable Viticulture Program, a grower self-assessment workbook that is designed to both document sustainable grape growing practices already in place and promote sustainable practices throughout the industry.