If we believe that wine is food - a concept traditionally embraced in Europe - we can think more about how wine production fits into the broader food production system using the agroecology lens. This lens emphasizes biodiversity, small scale farming, polyculture and a systems approach to managing a farm, maximizing on farm inputs and minimizing the use of fossil fuel based fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides common in California's 500,000 acres of vineyards (where 98 percent use them).
|Grains grown between vineyard rows in Mendocino at Frey Vineyards|
Miguel Altieri, a world famous agroecology leader, heads the agroecology dept. at Berkeley. He's also served as a leader on food policy programs to the United Nations and has been an expert consulting on food policy for the Vatican as well as Prince Charles.
Here's a brief (4 min.) 2012 video interview in which Altieri explains the problems - how industrial ag has failed to feed all of us - and how agroecology provides solutions.
Read more about his work online at agroeco.org or this interview and find more videos here.
Farms that are also wineries including Preston Farm & Winery and Front Porch Farms, both in Healdsburg. Quivira also farms a limited number of crops and showcases endangered food varieties (which Slow Foods have deemed threatened) in its Ark of Taste garden,
In Mendocino, Nelson Family Vineyards and Frey Vineyards are involved in the Mendocino Grain Project, interplanting rows of grain - for local consumption - between vine rows.
|Harvesting grains at Frey|