Great wines begin in the vineyard. Our estate vineyard, Hilltop Ranch in Carmel Valley, was the inspiration behind Cima Collina Winery (roughly translated “hilltop”). Since 2001 when the vines were planted, we continually evolve our vineyard practices with sustainability and the local environment in mind. Today, our focus on sustainability extends beyond the vineyard to the winery, tasting room and our vineyard partners.
HILLTOP RANCH FAST FACTS
- All 3.5 acres of our Hilltop Ranch Estate vineyards are sustainably managed and farmed; sustainably-certified products are used on the vineyards and plants on the property. Drip irrigation is used as well as soil moisture monitors to optimize water for irrigation.
- We collect rainwater in our vineyard pond, which is then used for wintertime irrigation to flush out salts in the soil & replenish groundwater. It is also used for frost protection (if necessary) in the spring.
- A variety of plants grow on the property and on the perimeters of the vineyard blocks — both native and drought tolerant. This creates a a diverse habitat in which predator insects flourish.
- Cover crops are used to enhance the health of vineyard soil and mitigate wintertime erosion; grapeskins are composted and returned back to the vineyard.
- Hilltop Ranch has also helped to be a partner in building a sustainable community: Fish & Game has used our vineyard pond itself to hold stranded native steelhead fry in the summer; helicopters have also used the pond as a source of water to fight fires.
- Over two dozen olive trees were planted on the property. If harvest quality is not up to our expectations, we ensure alternative uses for production such as olive oil soap, to limit waste.
BEYOND HILLTOP RANCH
- Outside of our vineyard, we continually seek vineyard partners that also choose to grow sustainably and/or organically. We only produce wines from locally grown Monterey County grapes.
- We also recycle all of our glass, corks, and cardboard. We choose recyclable tin capsules over plastics or laminates and we use natural, recyclable cork in our products. Cork also is one of Portugal’s primary economic sectors and supports a sustainable agrarian lifestyle and environmentally-friendly industry.
- We have eliminated sales of plastic water bottles in the tasting room
- At the winery, urban wine experience for events and wine tasting, BPA free polymer, reusable/recyclable plastic glasses are used to reduce the use of water
- On average, Cima Collina winery donates over $25,000 annually to local Monterey County organizations, through in-kind donations and non-profit partnerships.