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Mike Monroe and his Valley of Heart's Delight, Inc. are based in Gilroy. He is an amateur historian and naturalist dedicated to preserving the stories of southern Santa Clara County.  Share Mike's experience of local wineries, museums, parks, working farms and restaurants.  Enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this wonderful area.  Relax in a vineyard setting with panoramic views of the gentle oak dotted landscape or explore the majestic redwood forest of Mt. Madonna.  Contact - mike.valleyofheartsdelight@gmail.com or (408)234-6377

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  • Mike Monroe

Natural Wines (part 1)

During the month of April and in anticipation of Earth Day, I took a deep dive into

the world of grape growing and winemaking within the framework of -

***Local, Organic, Sustainable, Biodynamic and Natural Wines***

As a self avowed environmentalist and very passionate about understanding our backyard

landscapes, I wanted to learn more about the practices employed at our South County vineyards and wineries.


In the July 2019 issue of the Wine Enthusiast, Christina Pickard wrote about "natural wines... that embody environmental stewardship by championing chemical-free farming and winemaking with the fewest possible additives and manipulations." She noted that the popularity of natural wines is "forcing a notoriously reticent industry to examine long-held beliefs and practices, including the level of transparency it presents consumers." I subscribe to her viewpoint, and so motivated I decided to more fully acquaint myself with our winery and vineyard neighbors.


My first impression was that this topic was not really a priority for most consumers and producers in our area. Rather it seemed that immediate sales and enjoyment were the driving factors when talking about our local wines. I had to dig deeper and observe with more scrutiny and nuance what is happening in our Santa Clara Valley winegrowing region.

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