September 3, 2009:

A vineyard is nothing without the soil upon which it rests and sends its roots. The soil provides each vine with an anchor of foundation, nutrition, water, and life. Of all the effort we spend in the vineyard above ground, it pales in comparison to the importance of what happens, unseen, beneath vine trunk and winemaker’s foot. Seven years ago, I attended a seminar that changed my paradigms, our wines, and indeed, the way we farm. Today we are very focused on our soil’s biological health. We do this for sustainability, plant health, and wine quality. We have found a direct correlation between a soil’s microbial health, vine health, and the resultant quality of the wine. Achieving and maintaining a healthy biological system requires careful management decisions on everything we do—or choose not to do—in the vineyard, from diligent application of vermicompost teas (produced on site), avoidance of herbicides, yearly application of compost, and a “do no harm” approach. I am extraordinarily passionate about our vineyard soils, as they are the true foundation for every bottle of Leonetti.