Originally planted in 1971, the cool, marine-influenced Sierra Madre Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley AVA produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay fruit from its sustainably-managed, well-drained, low-yielding vineyards.
The Sierra Madre Vineyard recently achieved Sustainability In Practice (SIP) Certification, a program that certifies wines produced from grapes grown with sustainable vineyard management practices. I’m a big fan of the SIP program and Kris O’Conner, SIP’s ED who tweets at @sipthegoodlife, is someone to follow in the susty wine world.
SMV received its SIP Certification based on its water quality and conservation efforts as well as its promotion of safe pest management and natural habitat maintenance. Like all SIP certified vineyards, SMV must also demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency including efforts to reduce energy use and pursue alternative energy sources. Socially-responsible management practices with vineyard workers also contribute to a vineyard’s eligibility for SIP certification.
SMV is owned by Doug and Jan Circle who purchased the vineyard from the Robert Mondavi Company in 2003. They are known for continuing the respect the Mondavi Family had for their special property, once intended for Mondavi’s own premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Doug Circle explains why the Sierra Madre Vineyard team decided to pursue SIP Certification:
“Since it was first planted in 1971, Sierra Madre Vineyard has had just five owners, including the Robert Mondavi Company who took such great care of it during their time. It is fitting to honor the vineyard with sustainable status for its 40th anniversary.”