A long time ago my dear friend Mark Sturges introduced me to the Acres Conference, and ever since it has been a yearly pilgrimage to connect with and be inspired by others working in holistic farming systems. I had the great honor of sitting down with the delightful host of the Acres podcast, Tractor Time, at the 2019 conference, and spending an hour talking about the mission and work at Hope Well, along with other spicy topics. For me this was a huge privilege, as this conference and the organization represent a major source of education and inspiration in my journey.
On this episode, we welcome Mimi Casteel, a wine maker in Oregon’s Eola-Amity Hills. At Hope Well Vineyard, Casteel is blazing her own trail and fast becoming one of the leading voices in the regenerative agriculture movement. Mimi talks eloquently and brilliantly — not just about wine, but agriculture and land use in general. As you’ll hear, her beyond-organic farm is singular within the American wine world. It’s not your typical vineyard, with its neat and tidy rows. It’s a dynamic ecosystem that incorporates livestock, welcomes in wild animals, eschews industrial inputs and produces prized pinot noirs. And for this work, Mimi was recently named the Wine Person of the Year by Imbibe Magazine.