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 Seneca Lake.
- We practice contour farming for erosion control.
- We use a post emergent weed program combined with cultivation under the vines.
- Each week, we scout the vineyards for early detection of insects or disease.
- Our disease management practice starts with our choice of vines, trellis systems and vine hedging for continued airflow and sunlight penetration.
- For mildew control, we use century-old techniques combining sulfur and copper, and during the season's peak, when the vines are most vulnerable, we utilize current chemical formulations for disease suppression.
- To ensure healthy soil, each year we evaluate soil and petiole tests 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.
- We 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.
- When needed, we use our pond for spot irrigation.
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.