Oakencroft Farm is committed to farming in partnership with nature. Healthy water, healthy wildlife, healthy forests, and healthy meadows equal a healthy farm. We at Oakencroft Farm believe that responsible stewardship of the land contributes to the products we bring to your table.
When Oakencroft Vineyard transitioned from making wine to making grape juice, we selected grape varieties with resistance to the major diseases afflicting grape vines in Virginia. While not 100% organic, most of the fungicides we use are OMRI Listed® (Organic Materials Review Institute). With our environmentally friendly pesticide regimen and a strict canopy management program, which provides proper air circulation and sunlight penetration into the grape arbors, we have greatly reduced the chemical impact on our farm in a manner conducive with our vision of healthy water, healthy wildlife, healthy forests and healthy meadows. This result is a healthier, more natural grape juice.
From the beginning of our research and development phase, Oakencroft staff has worked with Dr. Bruce Zoecklein and the Wine/Enology Grape Chemistry Group at Virginia Tech to develop a minimalist production process. All fruit is handpicked, refrigerated and processed within 24 hours. The juice is stabilized with cold temperatures and natural products, and then sterile filtered and kept at 1° C until it is pasteurized and bottled. All processing is done on the farm.
We are also working with ETS Labs, one of North America's leading wine analysis laboratories, to preserve the integrity of naturally occurring phenols and anthocyanins in our grape juice, such as resveratrol a naturally occurring compound in grapes that has received considerable attention. In 2003, Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School published findings in the journal Nature that resveratrol significantly extends the lifespan of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
As our marketing strategy is based on developing a niche market for our juice, we find ourselves in a position to share information with the few similar producers scattered across the country and even globally. We have exchanged information and ideas with boutique grape growers and juice makers from North Carolina to Washington State, and as far away as New Zealand. James Millton at Millton Vineyards in Gisborne, New Zealand has been particularly helpful to us, and we have shared with him the things we have learned through our research and development. We hope to continue to build mutually beneficial relationships with other grape growers.