View Blog Archive The Sixteen 600 Blog By Sam Coturri > Community Supported Viticulture

Category - CSV,Phil Sent Me,Dos Limones,organic,cover crop
Posted - 11/11/2014 11:25pm
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Community Supported Viticulture
In 1978, when Phil Coturri began the converting Dos Limones Vineyard to certified organic, he couldn’t turn to any organic grape growing resources for advice, there weren’t any yet.

His peers were in the organic vegetable world. Bob Cannard was converting a neighboring property from an overworked turkey farm into the lush organic garden that would eventually supply Chez Panise. Amigo Contisano and company had just established their first organic standards at CCOF a few years before.  Phil had to adapt organic farming practices to work in the vineyard.

Winter cover crops took the place of crop rotation and fallow fields. Compost tea was injected into the drip irrigation instead of the sprinkler system. He used shovels and hoes to clear the space around the vines in the same way Bob or Amigo would have prepped for a row crop; eliminating the use of glyphosphate (brandname rhymes with BoundCup) in the vineyard. So as organic agriculture developed so did organic viticulture.

However, the correlation between vegetable gardens and vineyards ended once the respective crops were harvested. Grapes go to a winery where it will take anywhere from several months to a few years to become a finished product. For the most part, vegetables are a finished product the minute they are picked and need to reach their final destination ASAP. Supplying restaurants and other retail outlets is always important, but those first organic vegetable growers knew they wanted to establish a direct connection from the farm the plate; a relationship between the farmer and the consumer.

This desire spawned a dual revolution in how people get their vegetables- Farmers’ Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. This gave consumers the best access to the freshest, seasonal organic produce and a chance to connect a face to the farm.

As Phil perfected his grape growing practices that direct connection became more than a ethos or an esoteric notion. Phil, and the dozens of winemakers he works with, discovered that the grapes he grew made wines that distinctly reflected the terroir of the vineyards were they grew. His attention to detail in the vineyard led to an exactness of flavors in the wine. Enlivened soils and robust ecological harmony creates bold lively wine that retains balance. Phil's farming created a direct connection from the vineyard to the wine drinker that could be bottled and saved for decades. Winery Sixteen 600 was founded with a similar desire, to create a direct connection from the vineyard to the wine glass. Sixteen 600's distinct, terroir-driven, single-vineyard wines epitomize the relation ship between the farmer and the wine he produces.

When seeking a way to bring that relationship to YOUR wine glass we created our version of the CSA box. Community Supported Viticulture allows you to join a community that simple knows that it takes great grapes to make great wine.

Our twice yearly (spring and fall) Phil Sent Me CSV boxes will include Phil’s selection of current releases, essentially our fresh produce. There are a few different CSV membership variations: Winegrower’s Choice includes 6 bottles for $270 plus shipping, Winegrower’s Select is 12 bottles for $540 shipping included. For the third version, Winegrower’s Reserve, members select their own mix case, priced according to the selection with shipping included.

Phil Sent Me CSV membership will include annual pick-up parties, premier access to special release wines and olive oil, free private tours and tastings and other benefits.

Joining is easy, simply order your first CSV box and you are in. The first box will ship immediately.

Community Supported Viticulture

Phil pruning at Dos Limones circa 2013

Phil (and Sam) pruning circa 1984

Our first Moon Mountain District label

Phil in the cellar

A Moon Mountain District tour with Phil

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