SUSTAINABLY GROWN WINE
When our family arrived at Bethel Heights in 1977 we found a flourishing ecosystem in place: healthy living soils, a stream running through a shady ravine fed by a pure clean spring, and a rich diversity of wildlife with which we try to live in peace. Above all else we have sought to grow our grapes and make our wine without diminishing the life of this place.
Our vineyard is farmed on active hope for the future – the future of our farmland, and the future of all our children. We are working to do everything we can do to build resilience in the landscape, stability in the watershed, and justice for the people who work the land.
Over the years we have joined forces with our neighbors and colleagues to develop certification programs and collaborative efforts to promote sustainability in our landscape.
It often makes us uncomfortable to say that our wines are “certified sustainable,” when there are so many aspects of sustainability that we have not even addressed yet. But we are here for the long haul.
LIVE Certified Vineyard
Ted Casteel of Bethel Heights was one of the founders of LIVE, a sustainability certification program for vineyards inaugurated in 1997. LIVE certifies the reduction or elimination of off-farm inputs on the farm by reliance on natural processes and enhanced biodiversity.
Bethel Heights was one of the first vineyards to be certified Salmon Safe in 1997, representing a commitment to protect clean water in agricultural landscapes.
LIVE Certified Winery
In 2008 when LIVE launched its certification program for winery production practices, Bethel Heights was one of the first participants, taking up the ongoing challenge to reduce energy and water consumption in the winery. Solar panels installed in 2010 now provide 60% of our energy needs.
The Willamette Valley Oak Accord
Bethel Heights has long been on the forefront in the fight for farmland protection in Oregon, a never-ending battle against urban sprawl. Ironically, the new battle now is to protect habitat and biodiversity from farmland sprawl, which is why in 2017 Bethel Heights became one of the founders of the Willamette Valley Oak Accord, bringing together private landowners around a commitment to protect and restore some of the last remaining oak habitat in the Valley.