Cardwell Hill Cellars employs sustainable agricultural practices and is certified members of SALMON SAFE and LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) organizations.
SALMON SAFE is a partner with LIVE and is dedicated to restoring and maintaining watersheds that affect the present and future of streams and breeding grounds that are populated by northwest salmon. Each winery in the SALMON SAFE program is doing its part to protect the water quality and biodiversity in the Willamette Valley and other important northwest salmon watersheds.
Erosion and runoff from hillside vineyards can bring silt and foreign substances into streams, thereby reducing the ability of native salmon to spawn and thrive. We plant trees near streams, rigorously grow and maintain cover crops, monitor run-off water quality, and apply natural means to control weeds and pests. By meeting the rigorous standards that are monitored yearly, Cardwell Hill Cellars has the honor of using the Salmon Safe label.
The LIVE program requires members to meet high standards for sustainable viticulture following practices originally established in Europe. LIVE is the first organization in the United States to meet the standards of the International Organization for Biological and Integrated control of noxious animals and plants ( IOBC). After a two year rigorous program of monitoring and evaluation Cardwell Hill Cellars and Vineyards was certified by LIVE. This also qualifies as international certification by the IOBC.
The LIVE program objectives for sustainable viticulture are as follows;
- To see the vineyard as a whole ecosystem.
- To create and maintain a high level quality fruit production
- To implement practices that reduce reliance on synthetic chemicals with the
goal of protecting the grower, the environment and the community.
- To encourage responsible stewardship of the land, maintain natural fertility and ecosystem stability.
- To promote sustainable farming practices that maintain biological diversity
in the vineyards.
These programs are fully voluntary and thus attract only those vineyards that are dedicated to the program objectives, are willing to self-regulate their practices and undergo periodic inspections with reviews to assure compliance with LIVE and SALMON SAFE requirements.
SUSTAINABLE VINEYARD PRACTICES
Cardwell Hill Vineyards easily meets all of the LIVE and SALMON safe standards for sustainable agriculture practices. In addition we meet many of the requirements for Organic Vineyards and Biodynamic practices.
SOIL During harvest and winemaking all stems, seeds and grape skins are recycled to the vineyards as mulch. As a result we remove only juice from the land. During the rest of the season(s) all shoot trimmings, leaves and unripe fruit are also worked into the soil. In addition we go to considerable expense to plant winter cover crops to be cultivated into the soil at an appropriate time. This also adds to the enrichment of the organic content of the vineyards. These steps meet many of the Organic requirements and adhere to some of the Biodynamic practices.
UNDER VINE WEED CONTROL We practice inrow cultivation as the primary means of weed control. We also practice mulching.
COVER CROPS Cardwell Hill Cellars practices an extensive program using two cover crops which are planted on alternate rows. One crop is a mixture of grass seed and the second a broad mixture including clover, mustard, kale and grasses. These meet Organic and Biodynamic objectives.
IRRIGATION Cardwell Hill Vineyard practices dry farming where the vines seek out and find subterranean moisture via an extensive root system. This practice meets Organic and Biodynamic standards.
DISEASE CONTROL We use ORMI certified products meeting Organic vineyard practices.
FERTILIZATION Cardwell Hill Vineyards uses OMRI certified materials with composting that meets Organic Vineyard standards.
TRACTOR USE Tractor use is strictly monitored and used only on an as needed basis.