Our Sustainable Farming Method Examples

Cover Crops such as bell beans, clover, oats, barley, peas, vetch and rye are used to prevent soil erosion and to add organic matter that sustains the healthy balance of microbes and improves friability and moisture retention. They also encourage beneficial insects to thrive in the vineyard and outcompete other pests.

Composting is an integral part of our farm plan, as it offers a rich and diverse set of nutrients for the soil.

Integrated Pest Management consists of bird boxes stationed throughout the vineyards, attracting bluebirds and owls which feed on pest populations. We also have raptor perches to encourage hawks which mitigate gopher damage.

Natural Waterways have been established to maximize conservation by improving natural water flow. In the lowest lying areas of the property, natural drainage has been restored by replacing grapevines with native grasses.

Deficit Irrigation is used to minimize water use and restrict vine growth in order to produce low-yielding, intensely flavored fruit. In years where we see sufficient winter rains, we are even able to dry farm.


Bouchaine focuses on deficit irrigation to achieve the intensity of flavor often associated with “dry” farming.

Rather than the customary 100 gallons of water per plant per year, Bouchaine uses closer to six or seven gallons. We closely monitor the actual water uptake of individual plants in order to maintain just the right level of stress to produce more intensely flavored fruit. Our approach not only conserves water but also encourages deep-rooted vines.