For over 20 years, the Lodi American Viticultural Area has been a leader in earth-friendly practices; the region’s crowning achievement being the formation of Lodi Rules™ for Sustainable Winegrowing.
The standards, first approved in 2005 and endorsed by Protected Harvest – a leading non-profit organization that certifies stringent standards of sustainable farming organizations, were California’s first appellation-wide sustainable winegrowing standards and have now become a global benchmark for vineyard certification. This methodology, known as the Lodi Rules™ for Sustainable Winegrowing, currently contains 101 farming practice standards in six chapters: Business Management, Human Resources, Ecosystem Management, Soil Management, Water Management, and Pest Management.
Among the Lodi AVA’s leaders in Lodi Rules™, LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards has taken their sustainable focus in the vineyard to the next level, by getting rid of the vineyard! They’ve devoted 20 acres of their property to habitat restoration projects in association with SLEWS* – Center for Land-Based Learning‘s Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship program .
Beginning in the 1980’s the Lange twins, Randy and Brad, began planting native oaks from seedlings in the effort to re-establish native habitat buffer zones between their vineyards and the local waterways. Part of Randy and Brad’s motivation was to encourage proliferation of natural predators in order to enhance viticultural sustainability. A significant part of their project included the installation of hundreds of owl and songbird nesting boxes in the vineyards, along with Wood Duck boxes near the waters which are in existence today, still helping to promote biodiversity and the natural predation that is part of sustainable vineyard management.
Today, dozens of Lodi’s major growers have joined the Lange twins, farming over 21,000 acres of Lodi Rules™ certified vineyards. Stanton Lange, chairman of the Lodi Rules committee at the Lodi Winegrape Commission, says, “We are very proud of the rigor and quality these standards represent. They reflect Lodi’s generational commitment to responsible farming and give wine lovers the opportunity to support our efforts by enjoying a glass of Lodi Rules™ certified sustainable wine.”
This April, the Lodi AVA is encouraging you to support a farmer, a vintner, and a community that embraces its responsibility to take care of the environment by looking for the Lodi Rules logo on the wines you are drinking to be sure your wine is Certified Green.
For more information on Lodi Rules, visit Lodiwine.com.
*SLEWS engages local high school students in the winery’s conservation efforts while exposing them to natural resources professionals furnished by the National Audubon Society who act as guides and mentors, working hand-in-hand to plant buckeye, live oak and valley oak trees from acorn seedlings.