Get to know a bit more about Cima Collina Winemaker Annette Hoff and her approach to sustainability in this recent interview with Paul Robins of the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County.
Why winemaking? I’ve always been interested in how things are grown and made. I never really meant to become a winemaker when I was younger but a few things happened along the way and I got into wine production after college and never looked back. It was a good fit with my interests – interesting people, the combination of art and science in infinite degrees, the opportunity to experience and bear witness to the wonders of wine grape growing/winemaking, and the space to work with my hands.
Your thoughts about the land you manage- what are you most proud of? In general the push towards sustainability, as a holistic concept, that involves not only how the land is farmed but also focuses on responsible, equitable relationships with employees, vendors, customers. I constantly reevaluate my stance on farming, winemaking & wine selling and ask our employees to do the same — how can we improve to make our operations more environmentally friendly? How can we recycle more or curb the purchase of materials in the first place? How do we save energy and work smarter? Making improvements across the spectrum of business operations will in turn help us to improve our farming and wine processing methods — a full circle that I want to keep in motion.
As stewards of land —what are you most hopeful for? The more widespread acceptance of this new era of sustainability than I’ve ever seen before. What are you most fearful/concerned for? Not addressing climate change — we haven’t done a good enough job as a country to have an honest discussion of climate change and work collectively to solve the problem.
If cost weren’t an issue, what else would you do? I would do all kinds of things: graze sheep and geese in our vineyards (reduced tractor mowing/reduced fuel use/reduced soil compaction); pay to implement integrated pest management in all of our vineyards; implement falconry in all of our vineyards in order to eliminate the use of bird netting; install western bluebird nesting boxes (insect control) and owl boxes in every vineyard (gopher control); educate the public on the positive aspects of vineyards as permaculture (as opposed to more destructive farming methods); pay all of the vineyards we work with to convert to no-till farming; have a gravity-flow, solar- and wind-powered winery that is also built out of recycled materials; implement technology to capture CO2 emissions from fermenting wines.