Jackson Family Wines – Regenerative Farming and Carbon Sequestration
In 2017, Jackson Family Wines was awarded a grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Healthy Soils Program to explore the impacts of carbon farming. This was the first such grant awarded in a working vineyard. In collaboration with the Sonoma Resource Conservation District, we have dedicated two vineyard blocks to explore how reduced tillage, planting specific cover crops, and applying compost can support sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. We’re also exploring if these climate beneficial agricultural practices will lead to making our vineyard ecosystems more resilient, and ultimately resulting in a higher quality bottle of wine.
SDG (Sustainable Development Goal)
Life on Land
Jackson Family Wines has always been rooted in the land. We believe it’s our responsibility to maintain biodiversity, preserve native habitats, maintain clean waterways, and enhance soil health within the lands under our care. That is why 60% of our estate vineyard properties are left unplanted and in their natural state, enabling our vines and native landscapes to exist in harmony. In the next 10 years, we are committed to integrating regenerative farming practices across 100% of our estate vineyard properties. We believe this transition to regenerative agriculture is the best approach for maintaining a healthy ecosystem, while also advancing the quality of our wines, and we hope to serve as an example for how the wine industry can adopt and scale these practices.
In support of our transition to regenerative agriculture practices in the next decade, we are also working to enhance biodiversity on our planted and unplanted lands. This will be accomplished through the development of region-specific action plans aimed at partnering with nature to cultivate a rich and diverse community of organisms above and below ground. Our efforts will focus on maintaining healthy soils and ecosystems, and protecting and preserving natural habitats, all while making the best wines possible. This includes planting pollinator gardens and hedgerows in our vineyards to build carbon and provide habitat for beneficial birds and insects, and engaging with resource agencies to protect and enhance habitat for native species, including the endangered coho salmon that spans in the tributaries adjacent to our vineyards.
We are currently phasing in regenerative farming practices across all our vineyard properties (120+ ranches) in California and Oregon, with a goal to phase in these practices across all our ranches in the next 10 years. As of January 2022, we have transitioned 15% of our vineyards to regenerative farming. These practices include composting, reducing tillage, cover crops, biodiversity and animal integration, monitoring sequestering of carbon levels, and more. We are working in partnership with some of the nation’s leading soil health and soil carbon measurement scientists to document and track the impacts of our efforts so that we can share and scale our learnings with the agricultural community at large.
Regenerative farming principles need to be adapted to each individual vineyard and many changes will need to evolve over time to respond to changes in the vineyard.
Through composting, little to no tillage, cover crops, enhancing biodiversity, animal integration, and other viticultural practices, we believe we can further improve soil health and possibly sequester carbon, up to 20,000 MTCO2e annually across our natural and working lands in support of our goal to be climate positive by 2050.
Potential For Replication
Regenerative Farming principles can be adopted by vineyards everywhere and hold tremendous potential for creating positive climate, environmental and ecosystem benefits.
Sources Of Information/Support