In June 2020, Ledson Winery and Vineyards, one of the wineries in Kenwood, CA, was honored with yet another notable distinction as a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery. A certification not easily attained, the honor is a result of owner Steve Ledson’s strong commitment to environmental stewardship and attention to detail that has made Ledson Winery one of the industry leaders.
Achieving recognition for sustainability by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is not only a matter of employing a few environmentally friendly practices. The honor demands a comprehensive commitment and ingrained philosophy that draws on every individual talent and dedication to work toward the common goal.
What Are Considered Sustainable Growing Practices?
Growing excellent grapes and producing high-quality wines using sustainable practices must be driven by a desire to maintain an untainted and healthy environment for employees and neighbors. No production practices should interfere with the natural balance of the environment. The protocols must ensure that the presence of the vineyards and wineries will never interfere with others’ health and happiness in the region.
While sustainable vineyard management practices often include biodynamic and organic methods, the objective of sustainability will always be to eliminate potentially harmful practices in the winery’s quest to produce the best possible wines.
How Ledson Winery and Vineyards Defines Sustainability
So, how did Ledson Winery and Vineyard become a Certified California Sustainable vineyard and winery near Sonoma CA?
Sustainability in the wine industry spans the grapes’ entire progression in the vineyards to the wine in a consumer’s glass while embracing environmental stewardship, energy efficiency, healthy soil maintenance, habitat protection, and responsible pest management.
Besides a strong commitment to environmental protection, sustainability also involves achieving full compatibility with business and community-related categories as well, according to DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.
Social sustainability requirements include:
- Producing high-quality grapes and wines
- Being a good neighbor and employer
- Maintaining a thriving long-term business
As it happens, the owners of Ledson Winery and Vineyards can check all the sustainability requirement boxes as they celebrate their multiple award-winning, world-class wines and their past “Best Places to Work” award.
By choosing quality over quantity, Steve Ledson’s winemaking skills begin with selecting only the best grapes from the vineyard and, after production, maintaining the same strict standards for the wines before their release. In recent years, fourteen of Ledson’s wines have scored between 95 and 99 points; three wines have achieved recognition as ‘Wine of the Year’ at prestigious international wine competitions.
Strict adherence to high standards has allowed the winemakers to produce many award-winning vintages from among the over 20 different high-quality varietals and blends. One of the secrets to Ledson’s success results from handling the vines as little as possible to allow a gradual, organic melding of varietal and vineyard flavors.
The wines are then aged in French oak barrels from the finest coopers and forests, while a variety of toast levels add complexity and nuance.
Furthermore, Ledson’s 2019 recognition as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the North Bay Business Journal indeed underscores the company’s commitment to its employees. As reported in the Wine Industry Advisor, Ledson Vineyards and Winery excelled in overall performance, employee ratings, recommendations, and other criteria in a competition against 109 other quality organizations.
Creating a Sustainable Business
The final attribute of a certified sustainable business is its potential for creating and maintaining a thriving, long-term business. As many business experts and even environmentalists have noted, maintaining eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural practices is hopeless if the company cannot survive.
To this end, Steve Ledson and his family recognize that their business success results from the combination of several factors: intense environmental stewardship, thoughtful and empowering employee relations, supporters of community activities, and, of course, intense focus on producing excellent products.
In the end, by accomplishing these objectives, the sustainability of the business is assured. As Founder Steve Ledson states: “Making world-class wines while protecting the environment and being a good neighbor and employer helps safeguard the longevity of our family business for future generations.”
The Ledson Family Heritage
The love of agriculture, the region, and respect for the environment did not merge with the current generation of Ledsons. Although Steve and his family have become prominent stewards of the land, their ancestors have been farming and doing business in Sonoma County for five generations, beginning in 1868.
Discovering Ledson Winery and Vineyards: Schedule a Winetasting
Although 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic have been difficult for everyone, many of the Ledson patrons and Club Members have been able to purchase and enjoy excellent wines by ordering through the Ledson website.
Once again, the Ledson Castle Winery, one of the most remarkable wineries near Sonoma, CA, is open for private and group wine tastings. The Castle Winery now hosts outside wine tastings daily from 10 am to 5 pm in the beautiful Oak Grove and the cozy tent overlooking the area’s picturesque vineyards.
Reservations should be made in advance, and all visitors must abide by the existing health and safety protocols.
Make your reservations for a safe and enjoyable wine tasting experience and visit to the Ledson’s Castle Winery in Kenwood, Ca.
You may access the Reservation Form at https://ledson.com/taste/book-a-tasting/.