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Cline Cellars, Sonoma
Cline Cellars is a family-owned vineyard and winery in Sonoma’s Carneros Valley. Established in 1982 by Fred Cline, a descendant of Italian US settlers, he originally founded the winery in Oakley, Contra Costa County, cultivating Rhône varieties and Zinfandel on vines dating back to 1906.In the 1990s, the family moved their winemaking operation to a 350 acre ranch in Carneros Valley, adopting sustainable farming in 2000, and building the largest solar panelled winery in California. While others in California were focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Fred Cline saw the potential of Rhône varieties and Zinfandel in his vineyards and continues to produce focussed, terroir-driven wines.

Instead of herbicides, Cline has 1,500 sheep and 500 goats that roam its vineyards, tasked with removing invasive weeds and instead of harmful pesticides, Cline provides owl boxes and raptor perches in the vineyard. These birds of prey are the predators of gophers and mice and help to maintain ecological control. Cline composts and re-uses all digestible organic waste and materials from its winery, including 3,000 tons of grape pomace per year, pruning’s from trees and vines, plus chipped materials from the landscape. This waste is turned into a biological stimulant and food for the soils. Cline also grinds its own volcanic rock and then spreads the crushed cinder onto the soil. Having a wide spectrum of mineralogy, these cinders provide the vineyards with a complex array of nutrients and trace minerals, ensuring that the vines have all the necessary components to build fullness of character in the wine.
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