Our Sustainable Growing and Winemaking Practices
Here at Toulouse, we have committed to managing our vineyard sustainably using organic practices. We use natural fertilizers like organic compost and fish emulsion to feed soils. The vineyard is mechanically weeded instead of using herbicides that pullute the environment. Our vineyard is also cover cropped with nitrogen-fixing legumes which are then tilled into the earth as green manure. Minimal water is used to grow the grapes through our drip irrigation system which is fed by a storm-water runoff pond. By practicing low-impact farming, we are protecting the soil from burnout and maintaining the health of our local ecosystem for future generations.
We continue these natural practices in the cellar. Starting with healthy, clean grapes allows us to make wines with minimum additions of organic nutrients. Native wild yeasts from the property are used to ferment our wines. Skins and stems that would otherwise be wasted are turned into compost right here on the property. Our goal is to showcase the grapes' natural expression from terroir and vintage. We hope that you enjoy the natural experience of our wines in your glass!
The Vineyard Site
Our vineyard site is located in the heart of Anderson Valley along Highway 128 in Philo, twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean and two hours north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The site's elevations ranges from 300 to 500 feet. Gavelly Pinole Loam soil facilitates deep-seeking roots and excellent drainage.
Anderson Valley's climate and daily weather weather patterns are ideal for Pinot Noir. Summer temperatures can reach the high 90's but afternoon ocean breezes and occasional fog cool the valley and refresh the fruit with nightly lows in the 50's creating the perfect sugar and acid balance in the grapes.
The vineyard is vertically trellised on 6' x 8' spacing and planted with Dijon clones 115, 667, 777, the Wadensville 2A and our more recently planted Pommard clone.
Owners Vern and Maxine didn't always make wine. In previous lives, Vern was a Captain in the Oakland Fire Department and also built homes as a residential contractor. Maxine traveled the world as a flight attendant for United Airlines.
After retirement, the two decided to explore the possibility of owning vineyard land and becoming grape growers. Their quest brought them to a beautiful site approximately one mile from the town of Philo. The couple planted 21 acres of vines and by 2002 they were making wine!
From this hard work and shared dream comes the Toulouse vision for creating exceptional, handcrafted wines. Vern and Maxine take great pride in producing their wines and want you to come enjoy a tasting experience at the winery - and of course, dogs are always welcome!