A Farm Story!

Farming is the organization of the natural world to serve humans. It is not nature. I have long said that RSV works with, not against, the rhythms of nature by farming with the use of animals, cover crops, hedgerows and habitat restoration for the benefit of wild animals, birds, insects… even fungi. We try to overcompensate for the damage we do when we impose our will on the natural world. If the past five years of drought, extreme heat, fires and now monsoon rains are any indication, we clearly haven’t done enough. Nature needs our help.

The new year finds us with a new, old farm. It was in the same family for the past 50 years and though the prior owners showed a particular love of nature, some of the land has been overgrazed and compacted while other parts have been neglected and remain wild. To me, it is the perfect canvas to practice what we preach. Can we restore the farm in such a way that encourages wild, natural processes while still creating a superlative wine and other farm products? Can we truly partner with nature so we both can thrive?

Only time can answer these questions but we aim to find out. Our goal is to balance the farm with wild habitat so nature can be natural and do what it does best… create its own checks and balances. The farm is already home to the largest heron rookery in the region and, with the recent rains, we have seen an explosion of wildlife I have not seen in my almost four decades in Napa. I am more optimistic now than I have been in years. The journey is just beginning.

Rob Sinskey