Fabulous Eco-Winemakers: Part 4

Balletto Vineyards - Anthony Beckman

Anthony Beckman of Balletto Vineyards

Tell us about the sustainable and eco-friendly practices at the vineyard: Weathering (literally) the climatic challenges of the late 90’s, which ravaged their vegetable plantings, led the Balletto’s down a path of sustainability. They’ve have long followed the practices set out by organizations such as CAWG and LODI Rules. Their vineyards have been 100 percent sustainable since 2011. In 2019, the winery became one of just 149 California wineries certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA).

The vineyards are like an extension of the family and are treated accordingly. Soil/water samples are closely monitored to make informed decisions regarding fertilization, customized drip irrigation, etc. Cover crops, such as barley and legumes, are chosen to help increase the soil’s organic matter and nutrients and provide erosion control.

Just as important are the areas surrounding each vineyard. These border areas provide protection for both the vineyards as well as the natural habitats of various fauna and other flora. Balletto partnered with the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation & Open Space District to preserve forever a part of the neighboring Laguna de Santa Rosa wetlands. With that in mind, Balletto’s viticulture team utilizes California’s PRESCRIBE program to select the best practices and treatments to minimize any impacts to threatened or endangered species.

Tell us about the varietals you make: Balletto Vineyards specializes in estate grown and bottled Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Russian River Valley making single vineyard and barrel selection wines. 850 Acres; 23 Vineyard Sites – Balletto owns and sustainably farms 23 cool-climate estate vineyards in the famed Russian River Valley American Viticulture Area (AVA) planted primarily to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. From the 850 acres under vine, the Balletto winemaking team selects only the vineyard blocks that have the qualities that are sought after for Balletto wines, which equates to less than 10 percent of the annual grape harvest.

What are a few wines that readers should try right now?

2022 Rose of Pinot Noir

2019 Sexton Hill Chardonnay

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