It’s with tremendous pleasure we introduce you to our new website for
The Black Bottle. We’re honored and humble to making wine in the Napa Valley—home to so many great and historic wines–and to be part of this scene. “Made in America”—we should probably put it right on the bottle.
“Made in the Vineyard” would even be more correct. Since our focus really begins in the vineyard (the real footprint for our wines) we want to work with growers who believe in and practice sustainability. This isn’t something we’ve adopted because it sounds trendy, we seek out growers who pledge to help us craft great wines by using earth-friendly practices which leads to healthy vineyards and vines. Concepts like integrated pest management (IPM, drat, there’s always a new acronym to learn) help us intelligently regulate insect populations without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides like methyl bromide (a totally colorless and odorless neurotoxin which can permanently damage the nervous system) and the organophosphate pesticides like triflumizole. Instead our growers focus on attracting beneficial insects like ladybugs, spiders, bees of course and butterflies, even predacious mites, while keeping the harmful insects in check. Many of the vineyards feature nesting boxes for bird species like owls and other birds of prey which restrain and control the rodent population.

Water use is another conservation concept we think about. Some of our vineyard sites use deficit irrigation systems, which are sophisticated moisture controls allowing constant measurement of the soil for water content. And plant stress monitors—really cool technology developed in Silicon Valley—can dictate the precise amount of water needed to produce the best fruit. Not least is another idea and a reason why Napa vineyards produce such amazing fruit, the planting of nutritious cover crops in between the rows. This allows organic matter to accumulate, it helps suppress the weeds and improves the underlying soil structure. Ultimately it reduces nutrient loss so less fertilizer is needed. Another positive note, when our growers improve water quality on hillside vineyards the upside is found in local rivers and streams supporting healthy wildlife and fish habitats. We’re even looking into ways to reclaim our used corks from opened bottles so they can be recycled into flooring, shoes, playground equipment and a lot of other things. Eventually all these practices blend into a single product,
but it all starts in the vineyard with sensible farming and a goal to live lightly on the land.

I hope you enjoy this website and our wines and that they give you the pleasure and good health that all good wine should.

Kind Regards,
Mark Russo
Founder and CEO

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