Celebrating Earth Day with Troon Vineyard

Cover crops surrounding vines help maintain healthy soils.

Happy Earth Day! Today is a day to consider how we treat our precious planet, beginning with its soils. Did you know the Earth's topsoil supports 95% of all food production? Yet, nearly half of the world's farmable land has disappeared in the last four decades due to conventional farming, which uses environmentally harmful synthetic chemicals.

Fortunately, many wine growers and producers are on a mission to revitalize our ecosystems with healthy and resilient soils that foster clean air, water, and food (including wine!).

Troon Vineyard, located in Southwest Oregon’s Applegate Valley, is one of them. This winery and farm of nearly 100 acres is both Demeter-certified biodynamic and Regenerative Organic Certified Gold, two certifications that show a strong commitment to sustainability and a belief that grapes from healthy soils make better-tasting, better-for-you wines.

What does this mean for our environment? To put it simply, biodynamic and regenerative farming help in the fight against climate change by rebuilding the soil's organic matter and restoring biodiversity. The methods required by both certifications use less non-renewable energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases.

With Biodynamic farming, compost, crop, and grazing rotations are employed, as well as a complete absence of synthetic chemicals. Regenerative Organic Certified agriculture similarly requires farms to increase soil health while providing excellent working conditions for employees and treating animals humanely.

Sheep help manage the land and improve soil health. Photo: @troonwines.

Interested in learning more about the two certifications? For more on biodynamic farming, visit the Biodynamic Association website, and for regenerative farming, go to the Regenerative Organic Alliance website.

What does this mean for the wines? Troon Vineyard's mission is "...to naturally craft wines designed to bring pleasure to your life and reflect the terroir of where they are grown...using minimal intervention practices." I can attest to the pleasure these wines bring, as I’ve tasted several over the past year, and they never fail to impress. The wines are full of life, with plenty of flavor and acidity. They belong on the dinner table to be enjoyed with delicious food and great company.

Below is Troon Vineyard 2020 Syrah, paired with pasta and sausages in a Bolognese sauce. Troon’s Syrah is lighter-bodied than what you'll find from the Rhône Valley but still offers dark berry fruit notes that are well-balanced by its savory, spicy, peppery, and meaty flavors.

Today—and every day!—we must celebrate and support wineries like Troon Vineyard that are working to protect the earth for many generations to come.

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