Mendocino

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Parducci

Parducci is owned in partnership by the grape-growing families of Tom and Tim Thornhill and Paul Dolan.

Tom, Tim and Paul are driven by three mandates: Respect for the environment, sustaining community and family, and a creative approach to business.

California Wine Institute

From tree-free papers and soy based inks to biodiesel tractors and organic grape growing, Parducci is creating a model of quality and environmental sustainability for other wineries to follow. Not to mention they give freely and frequently to many of California’s Green Drinks Gatherings.

Tom, Tim and Paul of Parducci have taken a stand when it comes to growing their grapes and producing wines. They’re doing the right things to make delicious wine, and the right things to make a healthier planet.

Family Farmed

If you stand on the top peak of our winery rooftop (not recommended, for safety reasons) you can see 90% of our family farmed vineyards … they’re mostly within a twelve mile radius of our Mendocino County, California winery.

– Tom, Tim, Paul

Family farmers are responsible stewards of the land, protecting it for current and future generations. “Independent family farms also play a vital role in rural economies. In addition to providing jobs to local people, family farmers also help support small businesses by purchasing goods and services within their communities.”
www.sustainabletable.org/issues/familyfarms

But family farms are at risk, disappearing at a staggering rate. Since the early 1960s, the number of farms in the U.S. has declined by over 1.25 million. There are now nearly five million fewer farms in the U.S. than there were in the 1930’s. But buyers concerned about their communities, the environment, and quality are increasingly committed to buying organic food from local family farms. This food matches their personal values and includes attributes such as freedom from pesticides, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics; providing for the humane treatment of animals; and promoting buying local.

Renewable and Solar Energy-Use

Parducci Winery uses Biodiesel (a renewable fuel derived from natural vegetable oil) in their tractors and cars. Their solar energy installation supplies 25% of their energy needs. Renewable energy sources reduce carbon dioxide emissions and relieve pressure on declining world stocks of petroleum.

Solar electric power is created using photovoltaic cells and panels. Many of us use electricity generated in this way every day, without even thinking about it, since many small calculators and wrist watches are run on photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic material converts sunlight directly into electricity. When sunlight strikes the material, electrons are dislodged, creating an electrical current which can be captured and harnessed. The photovoltaic materials can be several individual solar cells or a single thin layer, which make up a larger solar panel.  More Info HERE:
www.solarelectricpower.org Also known as SEPA.

Energy audit partner Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) helped them monitor energy usage, and recommended ways and means to enhance their energy efficiency. www.pge.com/environment

Does Organic Farming make a difference in the Wine? Paul Dolan helped lead a revolution in the way top wineries think about quality…

Read More HERE>>>>

Photos courtesy StarksilverCreek and WineInstitute

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Frey’s Biodynamic Vineyards And Sulfite-Free Wines

Local Food And Wine

Frey Vineyards is situated in the beautiful Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, California, and was actually the very first organic winery in the United States.

Mendocino’s Frey Vineyard wines are sulfite-free and organic.

Paul and Beba Frey both grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and after they were married settled in Redwood Valley. They raised their twelve children with  love of the land and agriculture.

In the late 1960s the Freys planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Gray Riesling grapes on the ranch’s old pastureland, selling the fruit to nearby wineries.  Jonathan and Matthew Frey, two of the couple’s sons,  realized the vineyards’ potential when a Cabernet Sauvignon made from Frey’s grapes won a gold medal for a Santa Cruz winery and established Frey Vineyards the following year. That was in 1980.

Frey Vineyards is a completely family owned and operated business. Seven of the twelve Frey children, along with some of their spouses, work full time at the winery. Sustainable practices have been the plan from the beginning; the family knew they were there to stay, wished to contribute to the overall ecological community instead of robbing from it, and wanted a legacy to pass on to their children.

Frey was the first maker of certified Biodynamic wines in the U.S.

Biodynamic: In harmony with nature.

Frey Vineyards, of Mendocino County, produces organic wines with no sulfites added that are also vegan and gluten-free. Their organic white wines are fined using only bentonite clay. The red wines are not fined.

Biodynamic farming nurtures and feeds the soil and recycles its nutrients.  Some examples of how this pertains specifically to wine-making:  all the  grape waste is composted and the resulting compost is used in the vineyards, fruits are harvested by hand, and synthetic preservatives are prohibited.

Frey Biodynamic® Winemaking

Biodynamic Winemaking & Terroir Authenticity

The most exciting aspect of Biodynamic winemaking for us is the prohibition of cultured yeast and malolactic bacteria.  This preserves and protects the terroir (the subtle flavors of the vineyard site and vintage).

Recently, on Jan. 9th, Frey Vineyards hosted a lecture put on by theBiodynamic Association of Northern California where the subject was The Cow Horn: Form and Function.  Sometimes biodynamic is referred to as a “cult” because of the devotion of its followers.  Here’s how the lecture was described:

“This lecture traces the laws of form that underlie a horn’s structure, deepening our understanding of the choice of the cow horn for the 500 and 501 biodynamic preparations. By contrasting horn and antler formation as a polarity of skin and blood, and comparing protein structure to silica crystal formation, we will build a foundation for understanding the principles of capacitance and force amplification in the horn which make it the ideal sheath for the preparations.”

Seriously, though!

And on January 8th they hosted another day long lecture series event put on by the Coros Institute that, “traced the activities of warmth, light, and rhythm in the life forms of the natural world. The intent is to form a picture of ‘the etheric.'”

Interested? Read more here and also for a Calender of Biodynamic Events.

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The Magnanimous Grape

Healing the Earth One Grape at a Time

Healing the Earth One Grape at a TimeMendocino Farms Vision

I first became aware of the Biodynamic process by way of Bonterra Winery located in Hopland, CA. What drew me to the process was the back to the earth and homestead way of farming where the farm offers an array of mixed agriculture, livestock, insects, vegetation and composting to produce food products and grapes that are actually better tasting than those farmed conventionally. The process draws you in so that we at the Magnanimus Wine Group are able to really produce wines that communicate passion and a sincere commitment to nature.

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Biodynamic farming considers the entire farm so that the wine becomes an expression of the land, soil microclimate, farmer and winemaker. Biodynamic methods offer great hope for healing the earth and for the future of farming. There are six primary components of a Biodynamic farm: plant diversity, animal integration, composting, crop rotation, natural preparations, and farming in tune with the natural cycles of the seasons.

The History

Biodynamic certification has been available internationally through the Demeter Association since 1928 and in the United States since 1985. The foundation for Biodynamic farming began in 1924 when a group of concerned European farmers approached Dr. Rudolf Steiner – founder of the Waldorf school and a highly respected philosopher and scientist – with concerns over a noticeable and rapid decline in seed fertility, crop, and animal health after chemical pesticides started being used in farming practices after World War I. In response to the farmers’ concerns, Steiner presented a series of lectures on Agriculture, articulating a view of the farm as a living organism: a self-contained and self-sustaining ecosystem, entirely responsible for creating and maintaining its individual health and vitality, free of any external and unnatural additions. This holistic perspective stood in sharp contrast to the “green revolution” that had initiated the widespread use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, a revolution that was largely responsible for the very decline that these farmers had observed. Biodynamic agriculture thus provided one of the primary foundations for the organic movement.

Sincerely,

Owsley Brown

Save the Date: 53rd SF International Film Festival April 22 to May 6 2010

Save the Date: 53rd SF International Film Festival April 22 to May  6 2010Salute SFIFF53

We inite you to salute SFIFF53! Proprietor of MWG, Owsley Brown III, Film Society patron and documentary film maker- and his Magnanimus team would like to congragulate and thank the SF Film Society for another award winning year.

With some 150 films and live events and more than 100 filmmakers in attendance, this year’s International promises to be an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in the country’s most beautiful city.

Comprehensive information about SFIFF53 won’t be revealed until the press conference on March 30 and the release of the much anticipated Program Guide and Festival Web site. In the meantime you can visit the film festial site by clicking here to see some highlights that they already have planned.

Enter to Win tickets to the Film Festival! As a new friend or old friend of ours on Facebook we ask that you write a brief description or come up with a clever thought about what you think of our wines on our Magnanimus Wine Group wall. Your name will be entered into a drawing to win tickets for the Film Festival. We will post updated information about the Festival in the following weeks and what tickets will be offered for the drawing. Your chance of winning is based on a pair of tickets out of 40. We will be choosing 10 lucky winners.

Drawing will be held on April 12th, 2010.

Mendocino Farms and Chameleon Cellars will be featured as the Exclusive Wine Sponsor for this two week long festival.

Photo by Tommy Lau

Beef Stew with Green Chiles and Mendocino Farms Biodynamic Grenache 07- Yum!

Beef Stew with Green Chiles and Mendocino Farms Biodynamic  Grenache 07- Yum!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 (3- to 4-ounce) link of Spanish chorizo (spicy cured pork sausage), coarsely chopped

1 medium organic onion, chopped

1 large organic garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 organic green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 to 3 cups organic chicken broth

2 (15- to 19-ounce) cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained

Garnish: rounds of thinly sliced lemon and chopped fresh cilantro and serve with Mendocino Farms Biodynamic Grenache 07

Preparation:

Cook chorizo, onion, garlic, bell pepper, pepper flakes, cumin, and salt in oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add broth (2 1/2 cups for smaller cans of beans or 3 cups for larger) and beans and simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes. Lightly mash beans with a potato masher to slightly thicken.

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