Monday February 26 , 2018
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Nello Writes About "Organic" Vineyard Practices

Nello, can you tell me what is the difference between "organic" wine and all the wonderful stuff I have been drinking without the word "organic" on the label? By the way, congratulations on your recent awards. Hurrah!!
warm regards, Marnie
Dear Marnie,

To answer your question, I don't know how much better a wine labeled "organic" is for you than other wines. Personally, I question the notion implied by organic labels that man-made substances are all inherently "evil."

Or that they can somehow retain their degree of "harmfulness" through the long process of wine fermentation plus the strict regulations now in place for bottling. Though of course, using as little commercial pesticides as possible or none at all is considered best for the environment. And that IS important.

At Rancho Olivo, we use every natural method of pest control possible. These methods begin from the soil up and have been used by farmers for centuries. They work just as well today.

Due somewhat to our success in this area, in 2010, UC Davis used our vineyard for experimental purposes to further its studies in the control and management of certain pests.

Here's an example of our natural methods. At the end of every year, we remove (cut back) all the vertical vine growth, taking it back to a certain point on the spurs. These cuttings along with all the grape skins and seeds we have saved are spread throughout the vineyard and then tilled back into the earth. This helps to increase the good pest count, crowding out the bad.
We are looking to have the highest degree of soil sustainability, soil which is healthy and which produces healthy vines and thus healthy fruit for our wines. I am confident we have achieved this, but we're always pressing forward in our research and practices for improvement.
So, Marnie, I don't know if choosing all "organic" products is going to allow you and me a longer life. But choosing earth-friendly products does contribute to a better life, knowing we are doing what we can to respect and work within nature's own cycles and processes.


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Nello Olivo wine tasting room in Placerville

643 Bee Street, Placerville

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Tuesday: 11-5
Wednesday: 11-5
Thursday: 11-5
Friday: 11-7
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We're the closest winery to Hwy 50, at the "corner of" Hwys 50 and 49. Start your wine tour here. We have winery maps!

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