Q & A with Vineyard Manager Lucas Pope

This spring we were humbled to receive the California Green Medal: Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Award for Environmental Stewardship. The award is given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Environmental Stewardship. A commitment to the land is a core value here at Halter Ranch and thanks to the dedication, hard work and passion from our vineyard team this honor demonstrates our way of life. At the helm of our 14-person vineyard team is vineyard manager Lucas Pope. We sat down with Lucas to get an insider’s scoop about the inner workings of vineyard life at Halter Ranch plus learned a few fun facts.

Vineyard Manager Lucas Pope

Vineyard Manager Lucas Pope

How long have you been the Vineyard Manager at Halter Ranch?

I started April 1, 2012 as viticulturist and moved into the vineyard manager role in 2014.

Tell us about your team?

Our vineyard team includes 14 skilled and nurturing men and woman: Nick Painter – Vineyard/Production, Eusebio Rico – Vineyard Supervisor plus 11 men and 2 women who are full time, year round employees of Halter Ranch and work tirelessly to ensure vineyard health and sustainability.

What do you love most about the Halter Ranch property and your job?

The natural beauty that I am surrounded by here at Halter Ranch, my office has the best view. I work with a great team of people who are focused on the common goal of making the best wines possible from our site.

Challenges in the vineyard? Tell us about some.

The past few years we have been dealing with drought conditions which have left the vineyard very dry. We have had to come up with practices to conserve water in the vineyards while at the same time receiving lower than typical rainfall totals. We are fortunate enough to be able to use the newest tools on the market to monitor the vines water use and irrigate more accurately based on the plant’s needs. That has given us a water savings of 50% over past years , which equates into more than 4 million gallons a year!

Another large challenge has been to source the very best plants for our redevelopment. Nick Painter and I have been spending days at a time at the nursery selecting and testing our new vines to insure we get the best possible plants in the ground to insure we continue to improve.

Tell us something someone may not know about the Halter Ranch Vineyard?

Of the 2,000 acres that is Halter Ranch, 1,600 acres have been left as native vegetation. So many acres are being planted around the area and our owner Hansjörg Wyss has carved out a large portion of land to preserve as part of Paso Robles in its natural state.

If you had chosen a different career what would it have been?

I always dreamed about working on race cars as a kid, still think that would be fun!

Favorite activity outside of work?

Spending time with my family outdoors. Could be the beach, concerts in the park, or hiking,….

Best Halter Ranch food and wine paring, go!

This being summer, I tend to think about cooking over an open flame. Right now venison burgers with local avocados and home cured bacon paired with Halter Ranch Rosé or CDP.

Congratulations to Lucas and his team. What a great honor to commemorate your dedication and hard work at Halter Ranch!

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