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Chalk Hill Estate vineyards

Vertical Viticulture

Only 350 acres of vines are woven into the diverse terrain of the Chalk Hill Estate. Another 850 undeveloped acres of wild grasslands and heritage oak forests cover the undulating hills. Chalk Hill was an early leader in planting its hillside vineyards "vertically"- following the rise of the terrain, rather than across it. This concept requires the use of a cover crop to hold back any possible erosion, while also providing other added benefits. Mechanical tilling of the soil is minimized, as is the resulting dust and the need for fossil fuels.

Air movement through the vineyard, which reduces mildew, takes advantage of these vertical channels and the natural convection currents up and down the slope.

In the end, this passive system, actively encouraged, proves to be the most viable scheme for farming a hillside landscape.