There are no secrets at Clos Pepe. We don't hide our cultural practices, yields, harvest chemistry or our winemaking methods. We believe that the combination of climate, people and dirt combine to make a quality of fruit and wine that is perfectly unique and impossible to reproduce.
Great wine is about place, but without the hard work and planning of our crew and staff, Clos Pepe would be a hillside covered with weeds, grasses and a few flowers. So there is some 'magic' to the way we farm, but it is more like taking the tarnish off of a silver chalice than building the chalice itself. The key to enable this piece of land to express itself naturally through the wines we grow--to let the Vintage's voice emerge in harmony with vineyard and varietal.
In the most basic sense, these are our goals:
ONE: To prune the vines to produce a balanced crop.
TWO: Encourage a healthy, diverse vineyard environment by using sheep, chickens, owl boxes, raptor perches, and policies that guarantee a healthy farm.
THREE: Promote soil health by composting and organic fertilization, but only enough to make the vines able to support a small crop.
FOUR: Keep mildew and botrytis from destroying the crop. We believe that organic practices that help improve our wine are worth implementing, but we do not believe in organic for organic's sake, nor do we practice Biodynamics, which we consider (mostly) the ravings of a charlatan, and voodoo fluff/marketing fodder.
FIVE: Farm like winemakers. Some grape farmers don't drink wine. We do. Lots of it. From all over the world. We are wine geeks first, and the focus of our business is not profitability or bluster. We farm the way we do to produce some of the finest Pinot Noir wine and Chardonnay wine in the world. This is our goal. This is our passion and our reason for living.
SIX: Take care of the people that take care of our vines. We are committed to offering our full-time field workers medical, dental and vision benefits for them and their whole families.