Below is a sampling of the sustainable practices adopted by the Certified Participant. This is not a comprehensive list but provides some examples of the types of practices they use. For more information about their sustainability visit their website here.
Our winery is immediately adjacent to a creek which is connected to the Navarro River, a major salmon habitat. We minimize our impact on our watershed by leaving large riparian buffers around our creeks, not only keeping grapes and buildings well away from the edges but maintaining a wide swath of trees and undergrowth around the creek banks. This not only reduces sedimentation in the creeks, but provides habitat for the local wildlife. We frequently see deer, raccoons, wild pigs, herons, river otters, turtles, wild turkeys, and always memorable, mountain lions! Our landscaping around the tasting room utilizes drought tolerant plants, which also happen to provide a great hummingbird and butterfly habitat.
The dogs enjoy the creek as well!
Our new production facility was built with improved energy management in mind, a big improvement over our old drafty barn! Our cave barrel storage allows us to maintain all our aging wine in a passively cooled environment, requiring no air conditioning to keep the temperature regulated. All of our fermenting tanks are now inside, where they can be kept cooled without exposure to the hot sun.
Fermenting tanks and press inside
Winery Water Conservation And Water Quality
Water conservation is an area we have been focusing heavily on during this drought season. One of our biggest improvements has been getting all of our crush equipment under a roof, significantly reducing the amount of sun-dried grape material that needs pressure washing to remove. Our new facility also uses a Bioreactor waste water process system. This allows us to take used runoff from our winery production, send it through the Bioreactor which cleans it up, and then use it for irrigation in our vineyards and landscaping, effectively doubling the use we get from every gallon of water.
Destemmer under cover
We have two main sources of air quality concerns that we address. Located in a very remote area, many of our employees drive significant distances to and from work every day, and the emissions from this commute time add up over the year. We encourage employees to carpool to reduce vehicles on the road, and during the non-harvest season, we work a four day work week to cut back on gas usage and commute time. The other major air quality issue is dust from our farm roads throughout the property. We maintain a 5 mph rule and use a surface sealant on all our farm roads to keep this dust to a minimum.