Jackson Family Wines
Building a Bridge to Biodiversity st Matanzas Creek Winery
By Sarah Doyle
If you’ve ever visited the Matanzas Creek tasting room in June or July, you likely caught a whiff of something spectacular: two acres of blooming lavender, waving in the wind.
Sustainability and biodiversity have long played a key role at Matanzas Creek in Bennett Valley, which is one of the first wineries to feature the Certified California Sustainable logo on its label. Seventy-five percent of the land remains unplanted here to help preserve the natural landscape and habitat for local flora and fauna. And regenerative farming practices, such as cover crops and compost, are used extensively to enhance soil health.
Planted in 1991, Matanzas Creek’s lavender fields replaced a lawn that was draining water resources from the winery and vineyard. Today, the lavender is not only a huge draw for winery guests, but also for pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects who enhance the biodiversity of the estate. While much of the lavender is typically harvested in early July, parts of the field are reserved just for the pollinators.
“The lavender fields take a lot of care and maintenance to produce the beauty we see each summer,” says Landscape Manager Steve Malone. He, along with Landscape Foreman Joel Garcia (who helped plant the lavender over 25 years-ago), and the Matanzas Creek Landscape Crew spend countless hours weeding and maintain the irrigation systems.
“In late summer and early fall, the crew painstakingly prunes and shapes every single lavender plant on the property by hand, which allows for optimal growth and shape the following year,” says Steve. “Then all the green waste from the pruning process is put into our composting operation,” which helps enhance the soil.
Learn more about Matanzas Creek’s lavender here.