Our commitment to land stewardship and protection of biodiversity within an organic agricultural context is evident at the Bell Mountain Vineyard. This near 400-acre property is a true Northern California wildlands where 75% of the land managed for maximum ecological health of the native oak woodlands, grasslands, or chapparal communities. The remaining 25% is in organic agricultural production of grapes, olives, and vegetables.
By reserving the majority of our acreage for oaks, wildflowers and wildlife we help provide habitat so that there is less pressure on the areas we wish to farm.
Nesting boxes and perches encourage area barn owls and hawks to hunt pests and rodents: gophers and other rodents used to be a problem until we enlisted barn owls to patrol the vineyards. These snowy white predators love the nesting boxes that have been installed throughout the property and quickly made their home at Bell Mountain. Hawks are also encouraged to prey on unsuspecting voles and gophers while bats complete the roster of predatory flyers.
Traditionally, vineyards would use high fences to keep out wildlife such as wild pigs, deer, bobcats and mountain lions. As an alternative, we dedicate large parts of our estate to corridors that allow these animals to pass through the property without danger to them, the vines or us. By providing an animal thoroughfare to our local conservation area, we can limit the damage or danger to our vines and livestock that might otherwise come from trapped beasts.