Inside SoCal Sunday Morning: 4/11

We're celebrating Earth Month - learn about sustainable vineyard farming in Malibu and ocean preservation thanks to the marine life artist Wyland and his Foundation.

Video Transcript


ERICA OLSEN: Welcome to "Inside SoCal Sunday Morning." I'm your host, Erica Olsen.

It's Earth Month, so today we're chatting with the Wyland Foundation about the artist whose marine-life murals have impacted ocean and waterway preservation. Then we're heading to the vineyard. Up the Malibu coast, Montage Vineyard is leading the way on sustainable farming and water conservation and making some award-winning wines.

JOHN GOODEN: Sustainable farming is really responsible farming. It's good for the environment, it's good for the community, and it's good for the vines.

We employ several different techniques that would be considered sustainable, one of which is that we use drip irrigation for irrigating our vines. It's very efficient. And because water is a precious commodity, that's important.

We have been using for the last year a new tool from Tule Technology that is allowing us to monitor the grapes' vines more closely and make better decisions about when to irrigate.

ERICA OLSEN: So are you in good shape? Is it giving you a good reading that things are healthy?

JOHN GOODEN: Yeah, we've got happy vines. You can see the history of grape growing in the Santa Monica Mountains dates back to the early 1800s. So we're carrying on a tradition that has been here for hundreds of years.

There's a lifecycle to everything. Grape vines are usually good for 50 years. And if you take care of them, you know, they will give you back the love of what they can offer in the form of a good-quality grape which will make a good-quality wine.

ERICA OLSEN: And over at Flask & Field, wine-shop owner Miriam Yoo knows all about the importance of sustainable farming in vineyards.

So, Miriam, I think people may be surprised to know that they can support Earth Month by making informed wine purchasing decisions, right?

MIRIAM YOO: Yes. Absolutely, Erica. We have some lovely wines that people can purchase and enjoy while knowing that they're doing something good for the Earth.

One of our favorite wineries is called Super Real Wines, and they are from Santa Ynez Valley, California, and they employ all three methods. So they're sustainable, organic, and biodynamic.

Another winery we love is Kita, is also in Santa Ynez Valley. And this one is made by one of the few female Native American winemakers that we work with. This is a rosé [? grenache ?] and it's used-- it's made using sustainable farming practices.

And then the last one I'll share with you is called Glou Glou by Las Jaras Wines, and it's one of our best-selling wines. They use dry farming methods, and organic. And this style of wine is called chillable red, which is one of our most popular styles of wine that we sell right now.

ERICA OLSEN: Living in Southern California, I guarantee you've driven by or walked by one of these whaling walls. But do you know the story of the man behind them?

STEVE CREECH: Wyland's an internationally renowned marine-life artist. And one day when he was in his early 20s driving down Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach he saw this wall, and he had this brilliant idea. And he thought, wow, I could paint a life-sized mural of whales on the side of this building, and then people could really see how beautiful this marine life is off the coast of Southern California.

ERICA OLSEN: And Wyland's goal is not only to remind us of the beauty of marine life but also of the fragility of our water ecosystem.

STEVE CREECH: Right now we're dealing with a lot of issues. We're dealing with climate change, and we're dealing with ocean temperatures rising, and we're dealing with coral-reef bleaching. I think what Earth Month is a great time for all of us to take stock of what's going on on our planet and what we can do in our own circle to have a difference, really.

Sometimes the issues seem so big that you wonder to yourself, well, what can I do? But the fact is that you can do a lot.

ERICA OLSEN: You can get involved by participating in the Wyland Foundation's Mayor's Challenge. Just go to Simply fill out the short form selecting the ways you pledge your efforts. By participating, you can also win prizes, so you win and the Earth wins.

As things are reopening, next week we're going to shine the spotlight on SoCal businesses who are getting back to business.

That's it for us. I'm Erica Olsen. Thanks for watching.