LangeTwins Plans for the Next 100 Years      View email in your browser

Five Generations and Counting
August 2018

Next-gen leader: Marissa Lange

Now in its fifth generation in Lodi, the LangeTwins family celebrated its centennial as California winegrape growers last year. The family manages more than 7,000 acres of grapes and, a decade ago, built a winery to produce its own brand as well as wines for others. Marissa Lange, president of the winery side of LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards, is part of the younger generation leading the company.

How do you think your family history affects the decisions you make? Does it make you more risk-averse? More tradition-bound?
There’s a strength that comes from being part of a multi-generational family business, especially one that has active management. A great deal of natural mentoring occurs where we have the opportunity to learn from past decisions.
     One of our mantras is that ours is a generational family business, not just a family business. Good business necessitates a return on investment, but when you have a generational perspective, you invest for the long haul. You plant the seeds now that will benefit the sixth, seventh and eighth generations.
      Our decision to build our family winery is a perfect example. To protect the family farm, we felt we needed to add value to the fruit, diversify our routes to market and elongate our fruit’s marketability beyond harvest time. The winery we built in 2006 is both the winery we need for today and the winery we will need in our future.  It has infrastructure waiting to be deployed when the time for expansion comes. 

Farming for the future: Lange family

With so much history, how do you keep from having a “that’s the way we’ve always done it” mindset?
My generation is fortunate that my father and uncle are always asking: is there a better, less impactful way to do something? We grew up with a family philosophy of “let’s try new things.” Some will be successful, some will not, but let’s learn from those mistakes. That said, “the way we’ve always done it” is still sometimes the right approach.

Do you recall any early lessons in sustainability, ways that your parents communicated this philosophy?
My family has always been avid backpackers, with an appreciation for the great outdoors. Hiking into the wilderness with everything we needed on our backs was the family vacation through the better part of my childhood. Those camping trips created a sense of being part of a greater whole and taught us how to engage with the natural world in ways that are beneficial.

How does the ranch today differ from the ranch of your childhood?
The most visceral difference is that the vineyards are wilder now. In my childhood, which was the era of transitioning from my grandfather’s techniques to my father’s and uncle’s, the ranch went from highly manicured, clean vineyards, with no weeds and every row tilled, to a process that embraces a more natural balance, with native grasses in every other row, bat boxes, owl boxes and hawk perches throughout the vineyards. There’s a consciousness about not only ensuring we have no negative impact but actively pursuing how to bolster these natural corridors.

If your grandfather could return to the ranch, what would surprise him most?
How much we listen to the vineyard. How irrigation schedules are determined based on visual assessment of vine health rather than a schedule. He would be amazed by some of the options we have for pest management that he didn’t have 40 years ago.

Part of sustainability certification is the notion of constant improvement. How will LangeTwins be more sustainable a decade from now?
We would love it if we could get off the grid, but at present, we have fully utilized every rooftop for solar arrays. We’ve been actively brainstorming about our habitat restoration projects and how we might connect them physically to create corridors that benefit wildlife. Our vineyards are already
LODI RULES certified, we’re in the process of certifying the winery with CSWA’s CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE and those assessments continue to generate ideas for us.

Copyright 2018 Wine Institute

California Wine Month Events Make September the Time to Visit Wine Country:

Across California, wineries, regional associations and other organizations are hosting exclusive tastings, festivals, live music, food pairings, grape stomps, vineyard hikes, and much more. Now in its 14th year, California Wine Month celebrates the Golden State's 250-year winegrowing history and recognizes the achievements of California vintners and growers in preserving tradition and driving innovation. To learn more and find events, click HERE.

• Total Vineyards CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE: 1,355

• 149,396.50 total certified acres (25% of the total statewide acreage)

• Total Wineries

• 209 million cases produced by certified wineries (73% of the total statewide case production is produced in a CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE winery)

To see a full list of certified vineyards, wineries, and wines, click 

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And to learn more about the Value of Certification, click
Seasonal Recipes

Enjoy Wine Institute's fresh, seasonal, easy-to-prepare recipes with California wine pairing suggestions HERE

Baked Striped Bass with Peperonata, Olives, and Saffron Aioli

Did You Know? 

Of the nearly 1,099 CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE California vineyards in 2017, 94% of them created or maintained nesting habitat such as bird boxes or natural perches.
Resources • Publications

The Importance of Crop Protection:  

Background: Various pests—insects, mites, pathogens, nematodes, vertebrates, and weeds—pose economic risks to the production of crops (including wine grapes). The incidence, frequency, and severity of the risks vary, depending on the vineyard location, climate, ecological conditions, and other factors.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an integral part of any sustainable farming program. IPM is an approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks. IPM is relevant for all farming systems, including organic and biodynamic systems. 

• Publication: A Winegrower's Guide to Minimizing Risks– Chapter 5 provides some well-rounded information on managing pest-related risks.

• Video:
Farming with Biodiversity Learn about the many benefits of on-farm biodiversity at Bonterra Organic Vineyards in Ukiah, CA. Practices help growers produce grapes while minimizing negative impacts on natural resources and provide natural buffers to the ecosystem, including erosion control, increased soil fertility, and reduced pest and disease pressure, which all help to improve grape quality. Download the case study HERE.

California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook:  

Download individual chapters or the entire workbook to learn more about sustainability in your vineyard or winery 
Down to Earth: a monthly newsletter celebrating the commitment of California vintners and growers to sustainable winegrowing and winemaking.
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