On my recent trip to the Monterey area, I had the opportunity to stop in and chat with the folks from De Tierra Vineyards. They set up an awesome food and wine pairing for my wife and I while we chatted about De Tierra Vineyards and SIP Certification and sustainability.
Below you will find a few questions I asked of Anna Russell, who is in charge of Sales and Marketing for this family business. Her father, Tom Russell, is the owner of the operation.
Matt: Anna, is farming in your blood or are there other aspects of this business that attracted you to it?
Anna: Viticulture and farming are definitely a strong part of what drew me to the wine industry. I have grown up watching my father work in the vineyards and have seen his passion and skill, and it is definitely something I aspire to. The farming and winemaking elements still hold an element of mystery to me as I have been working very hard to further our brand through marketing and sales. Getting to know those two elements inside out is one of my goals for the coming years. That being said, I truly love the business element of the wine industry as well. There is nothing better than waking up every day and getting to serve people something they love, learn their story, and create an experience for them. Working with people is a passion of mine, and I hope that opening a tasting room will allow me to do what I love every day.
Matt: What would you say is the most important SIP practice to you?
Anna: I would definitely have to say water conservation. I believe that as farmers we have a moral responsibility to not only regulate our water usage, maintaining high efficiency and low waste, but also to protect the waterways and water table from contaminates. In this way I think water conservation is intrinsically linked to organics. Through organic farming we are able to ensure that we are not contributing pollutants to the surrounding ground water. The entire eco-system is dependent on local water sources, and as farmers of grapes and agriculture we have an obligation to keep our water clean and safe.
Matt: I know you’re opening a new tasting room and it seemed to be because you wanted that to happen, why is that and are there any SIP practices you will carry into the tasting room?
Anna: The tasting room is the next logical step for De Tierra, and we hope we will be able to maintain sustainable practices there as well. The tasting room will allow us to have a place to tell our story, share our wines, and meet the people that love De Tierra (and hopefully spread the word). In the renovating and development process I tried to focus on sustainability in using as many recycled elements as possible. Our bar, chairs, lighting, tables, and planters are all made of recycled material or repurposed from previous uses. I also spent a lot of time working with our packaging provider to select the most environmentally responsible packaging available. I plan to continue this focus in the future as we continue to develop our business and tasting room.
The De Tierra tasting room is now open so if you’re in the Carmel or Monterey area, be sure to get over there and check them out. Here’s the link to their tasting room information. There will be more to come from De Tierra, so be on the lookout.
Thanks again to the De Tierra family (Tom, Anna, Kathleen, and Gus), you really made us feel welcome. It was fantastic being able to bring my wife and son along for the fun!