L’Ecole is an active proponent of and leader in the growing sustainable farming program in the Walla Walla Valley. All of our Walla Walla Valley vineyards are now certified sustainable and certified Salmon Safe. Beginning with the 2008 vintage, all of our Walla Walla Valley wines are labeled with a statement noting such certification. With a focus on soil biology and vine health, we are working toward farming with minimal inputs and undertaking friendlier environmental practices.
The sustainable program in Walla Walla is called VINEA, meaning “vine” in Latin. It has been designed to take into account the climate and terroir of the Walla Walla Valley. This holistic program employs environmentally friendly and socially responsible viticultural practices that respect the land and conserve natural resources. They also support biodiversity, exercise responsible relationships with workers, neighbors and the community, and provide continuing economic and biological vineyard viability. VINEA encompasses a number of the key organic and biodynamic practices with an emphasis on low input, soft practices that nurture soil health by encouraging biodiversity and soil microorganisms through the use of organic composts and compost teas. The use of newly engineered synthetic applications is permitted, as long as the end result is softer on the vines and health of the vineyard. VINEA partners with LIVE in Oregon (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) to provide third-party sustainable certification through the European organization IOBC (International Organization for Biological Control).
Salmon Safe is a nonprofit organization committed to restoring the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest to a liveable habitat for native salmon. Erosion and runoff from agriculture can bring silt into watersheds, reducing the ability of salmon to spawn. Working with farmers and scientists, Salmon Safe created a rigorous set of guidelines to manage vineyards to protect salmon habitat by planting trees, growing cover crops, improving irrigation, and applying natural methods to control weeds and farm pests. All of our Walla Walla Valley vineyards now carry Salmon Safe certification.
Benefits of Sustainable Farming