What is in this article?:
- Respect for land sustains five-generation farming family
- Farming comes first
- Wine crafters
- Ribbon for wildlife
- 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.
Ribbon for wildlife
The two brothers first turned their interest in responsible land stewardship practices into action more than 25 years ago. They restored 12 acres of land their grandfather had cleared in the 1930s, as was customary at the time, to plant Tokay grapes in an area of creeks and sloughs. “Looking back and based on what we know now, that wasn’t the best use of that particular piece of ground,” Randall says.
Today, native species, including grasses, elderberry bushes and wild roses, along with trees, like box elders, buckeyes, willows and oaks – some now 30 feet tall – thrive where the vineyards once grew.
Since then, the twins have undertaken four other habitat restoration projects on the farm. The latest began two years ago. Working with Audubon California and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Lange brothers are returning 25 acres of former farmland to a native savannah-type ecosystem, surrounding a small, recently-planted zinfandel vineyard.
“When finished, this project will provide a ribbon of natural habitat, allowing wildlife to move back and forth between a lowland area and a slough, “Brad says. And, it will add biodiversity to an area of the county that is very much a grape vine monoculture.”
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