Fox Hill: 1 Year Anniversary

May is a time of new beginnings at Fox Hill Vineyard as vines awaken and grow. It's also a big month as we celebrate the official anniversary as owners and stewards.

It's been a busy first year. The vineyard became officially CCOF certified organic. The vineyard has been organically farmed for many years now, an effort initiated by Sam Bilbro, a dear friend and fellow steward of Fox Hill. However, the certification is important to us and solidifies our commitment to taking care of the grapes and the land. 

Read on to see what Chris, winemaker and owner of Broc and Fox Hill, has accomplished in this first year and what lies ahead. We’re honored to deepen our investment and contribution to its legacy in this past year and for many years and decades to come.

What has been the best thing about overseeing Fox Hill? 

The farming is always a priority. This year it has been cultivating the cover crop. Fox Hill was conventionally farmed for many years by our predecessor. While people like Sam Bilbro and others initiated the transition to organic practices years ago, it still takes a long time for the vineyard's soil to recover and restore balance. Cover crops help remove toxins and salts from past conventional practices and rejuvenate the soil. In turn, it makes the vineyard and vines more water resilient too.

Composting is another big thing. We take organic matter like pressed grape skins and vine clippings and create nutrient-rich materials we can reinvest back into the soil.Composting is another big thing. We take used grape skins, vine clippings and create nutrient-rich materials we can reinvest back into the soil. 

Has vineyard ownership changed your winemaking?

It’s enabled me to be more in tune with the balance of the vineyard and the wine. We’re doing all this important work to improve the soil and health of the vines. That gives us a jump start on winemaking by improving the wine while it's still on the vine.

What are you most excited about for Fox Hill in the year ahead?

Planting more diversity beyond grape vines is a big focus this year. Apples, figs, peaches, persimmons, olive trees – there are many fruit trees on the property. We’ve been impressed with how these fruit trees thrive at Fox Hill with very little maintenance. Going forward we’re giving them a little more TLC to help cultivate true biodiversity at Fox Hill.

Where do you see Fox Hill 10 years from now?

There’s a lot of work still to do. I’d like to one day have a winery space on the property. It’d be nice to process the grapes as we pick and make Fox Hill wines onsite.

Nearly half of the vineyard is woodland. Another thing would be investing in livestock to help graze and maintain that space. Both projects are pretty big and so are still a ways off. However, I hope it's something we can work towards for the future.