Paso Robles, California
While not certified, our farming practices at Booker Vineyard draw from organic and biodynamic farming methods. We believe it keeps us in touch with our vineyard and forces us to perceive it as a living, breathing entity. Biodynamic farming follows the beliefs of Rudolf Steiner, who promoted a holistic approach to farming, describing that all things on the farm (including soil, plants, and livestock) are interrelated. Like many, we were skeptical of the concept at first. Eventually we came to realize, if these farming practices are good enough for some of the most discriminating wineries of the world then why not give it a try. Thus far, biodynamics has proven to increase the overall health and balance of our vineyard, as well as our team working within it.
Our vines were planted in 2001 at a high density (7x3) to force the plants to be efficient while at the same time controlling crop in the form of pounds per plant. We believe in vineyard balance, but in the form of a small plant.
In respect to the high density of our vineyard, we only ask each plant to carry between 2 and 2.5 pounds of fruit. This allows the vine to focus on very few clusters and gives us beautiful, concentrated, and highly textured wines. Our land has extremely limited water supply, so the plant receives very little help outside of what Mother Nature provides.
Our vineyard hills are very steep. We avoid having to rip or disk, and instead carry a permanent crop cover to assist with soil health. We make very few passes in the vineyard and are never concerned with making our vineyard look perfectly groomed. In our opinion, the soil and air around each plant should not be interrupted to perfect the appearance of the vineyard.