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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 2)

To be honest, I have become more and more suspicious over the years about conventional farming practices that rely to chemical inputs to tackle pests, weeds, soil deficiencies, flaws in wine color or taste. In 2009, it was reported that the European Union banned more than 700 active substances during a major cleanup campaign. As a consumer, I have no idea of how many or how prevalent chemical usage is in California winemaking. My choice is to purchase local estate grown and produced wines where I trust the farming practices of the winemaker in terms of minimizing their dependence on chemical applications - either synthetic or organic. I subscribe to the gentle hand approach when it comes to farming and

cellar protocols.


The hot topic in the news is the widespread use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the family of RoundUp style herbicides. The debate is both global and heated with proponents claiming safety and effectiveness while the skeptics, like me, are trying to understand how persistent the chemical is in the environment and how much we are ingesting because of its prevalence. A major concern is not just the toxicity of glyphosate to humans, rather the impacts on insect pollinators and microbial soil life. This topic is very challenging because

most of us are not bio-chemists, but we should make the effort to understand from our local farmers what it takes to achieve a consistent quality product that not only tastes good, but is also ecologically healthy.

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