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California Heartland

 


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  Season 8 - Episode 809
 

Vineyard Compost

Vineyard Compost

Vineyard Compost

Vineyard Compost

Vineyard Compost



  Vineyard Compost

Any great wine begins in the soil. But for a growing number of Northern California Winemakers it's not just any land. The soil in some Napa Sonoma vineyards has a unique tie to some of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. Table scraps from what feeds diners are turned into a high-grade compost to feed the vineyards. Winemakers do get some strange reactions when they tell their customers about the unique relationship between a bottle of wine and gourmet garbage.

"When I tell then that it's made from table scraps that are from a restaurant they may have dined in the night before they find that quite amusing. But they say they don't feel quite as guilty about leaving something on their plate," said Kathleen Inman, owner of Olivet Grange Vineyards and Inman Family wines. The Russian River valley winemaker has been using what's appropriately called "Four Course" compost since she got into the wine business a few years ago. Inman says she just likes the whole idea. "And I see this as a loop from the table to the vineyard and then our wines are served again on the tables of these restaurants, completing the whole circle," she said.

It's a circle that starts in the kitchen. L.J.'s Martini Club and Grill is one of the eight restaurants in San Francisco's Metreon Entertainment Center that's participating in the recycling program. Operations Manager Jonathan Cook said the practice fits right in with Metreon's philosophy. "As a company we're really committed to the community and the environment and when we found out we could convert our food waste into fertile soil really easily it was just an amazing concept," said Cook.

He said Metreon restaurants produce 40 thousand pounds of scraps a month for composting and that means less waste in landfills and a lower garbage pick-up bill. The center is one of more than 200 food-related businesses and 75 thousand San Francisco households providing food scraps for compost.

Kathleen Inman, who's proud of her Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, says this rich compost makes being a grower even more gratifying. Great tasting grapes for the finest wine and the warm feeling of helping to complete the crop circle.

 

 

 

 
   

 

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