What is in this article?:
- At LangeTwins Family Winery & Vineyards, brothers Brad and Randall run an operation based on respect for the land, responsible energy use and a desire to make authentic, high quality wines using environmentally-friendly farming and winemaking practices.
Brad (left) and Randall Lange oversee a family farming business, based in San Joaquin County, that grows 8,000 acres of wine grapes and crushes 20,000 tons of grapes a year.
Adding their winery in 2006 has given the Lange family the opportunity to increase revenues by adding value to their grapes. At the same time, it has reduced their business risks by giving access to a broader market for their production.
Up to that point, they had been selling all of their grapes by the ton to various wineries. Now, such sales represent a much smaller portion of their total business.
“With fresh grapes you have a very narrow market window, Randall says. “Once they’re ripe, you have to sell them, regardless of the price. By making our grapes into wine, we can hold our product for a much longer time to see how the market plays out before selling.”
The Langes produce the traditional wines of this area, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Zinfandel, along with spice rack varietels, like Malbec, Petite Verdot, Tannat and Viognier.
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“The spice rack grapes are the winemaker’s tools for adjusting the blend,” Randall says. “We use them to make wines unique to our vineyard and to give our label a personality it wouldn’t have otherwise.”
The Langes have installed photovoltaic solar systems to take advantage of the area’s abundant sunshine in reducing costs of operating their viticulture headquarters, several agricultural water pumps and their winery. The winery’s 397kW systems features bi-facial solar panels over the crush pad. Not only do they produce power from sunlight coming from the sky downwards, but also from light reflecting from the ground upwards.
“As a family, we are trying to do all we can so that when future generations take over the land, it will be in better shape than when we started farming it,” Randall says.
“Sustainability is always top of mind.”
That philosophy extends from their vineyards, which are certified sustainable through The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing, to marketing brochures and tasting notes printed on post-consumer recycled paper.