Our Grapes

Our Grapes

As we all know, it takes great grapes to make great wine… Sawmill Creek Vineyards, located on the slopes of southeast Seneca Lake, is where Billsboro sources its grapes. Learn more about Sawmill’s passion and dedication to grape growing in the Finger Lakes…

“The most important thing a grower can apply to his vineyards are his own two feet” – Jim Hazlitt

Six generations of Hazlitts have loved and cared for this land. Once covered with fruit trees and native grapes, the farm was converted to vinifera varieteies in the early to mid-80’s by Jim, with the help of Eric. …read more Positioned between the 41st and 46th parallells, New York is entirely north of California. …read more

Vineyard Practices

Sawmill Creek Vineyards proudly utilizes sustainable winegrowing practices protect our soil, air and
water – elements that breathe life, and ultimately flavor, into our grapes and our wineries wines. Being
good stewards of the land and good neighbors are principles we live by each and every day. Adopting
environmentally and socially responsible practices and making them an integral part of how we do
business is our way of ensuring the health of our land and our community as well as the economic
sustainability of our farm for generations to come.

Some of these practices include:

Soils and Nutrients
 Pre-plant soil analysis and amendments (nutrients, organic matter, compaction, drainage, pH)
 Soil and water conservation structures (diversion ditches, buffer strips)
 Tile drainage
 Organic matter additions
 Regular soil and tissue sampling
 Efficient nitrogen use and timing of nutrient applications
 Safe and secure storage of fertilizers
Vineyard Floor and Water Management
 Mulching for water retention, organic matter, and erosion prevention
 Seeded cover crops and maintaining permanent cover between rows
 Hilling up vines to prevent winter injury
 Non-chemical and post-emergent weed management techniques
Viticulture/Canopy Management
 Selecting appropriate varieties and rootstocks
 Selecting appropriate training systems for the site and variety/rootstock
 Estimating and modifying yield through pruning and shoot and cluster thinning
 Increasing air flow and spray penetration into the canopy (managing vigor, leaf pulling,
hedging)
 Optimal timing of canopy management for vinifera varieties especially
Integrated Pest Management
 Fruit exposure for reduced disease pressure
 Scouting for insects and diseases
 Utilizing thresholds for efficient pest management
 Selecting reduced risk pesticides
 Spot treatment of pests
 Critical fungicide spray timing (pre-bloom and post-bloom)
 Rotating agrichemicals to prevent resistance
Pesticide Management
 Safe and secure pesticide storage
 Tailor sprayer settings to canopy development stage
 Choosing equipment and practices that reduce spray drift and increase deposition
 Improving pesticide mixing and loading facilities