Thursday, November 21, 2013

SIP-ping the Good Life

Our annual SIP audit reminded me that I haven't done a blog post in a while about this wonderful program. It's time.

Three years ago, Riverbench Vineyard became SIP (Sustainability in Practice) certified by the Central Coast Vineyard Team. The process was lengthy, involving a full record inspection, questionnaire, and paperwork audit.

We at Riverbench chose this program over other certifications because it supports many great things. It limits our use of harmful pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. It makes us pay attention to natural resource use and conservation. And, importantly, it considers our reputation in the community and the safety and attention we pay to our employees. People matter at Riverbench, as much as our vineyard, so the program was a perfect fit for us.

We're proud to have our vineyard and wines certified by the program. It does so much, more than I could ever describe, so for more information, check out

In talking to Jim about the audit this year, he said he was asked lots of questions to make sure we are keeping up with our commitments.

"Like what," I urged, always bugging him for more information.

"Like...owl boxes," he said.

Wait, we have owl boxes?! How have I worked here six years and not known that we have fifteen...count 'em!...fifteen...owl boxes! How cool is that? I've known owls were great for rodent control (you know, mice and gophers) but never considered they were so vital that SIP would include questions about them in our audit. Very cool!

Photo credit: Stolli, taken early one morning before he had coffee.

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