Jackson Family Wines
October 21, 2010
All Jackson Family Wines vineyards and wineries are Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, including:
All California Vineyards in
|Santa Barbara County
|Carmel Road Winery
Kendall-Jackson Wineries: Oakville,
Santa Rosa, Alexander Valley, Soledad
|La Crema Winery
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.
- Extensive examination of soils, water, and site specific weather is conducted.
- Rootstocks, clones, row orientation, trellis and irrigation systems are chosen to match site characteristics.
- Vine balance is maintained through shoot selection, crop thinning and green drop.
- Leaves are removed as appropriate to provide air circulation and even ripening which elevates fruit quality and minimizes disease pressure.
- Plant tissue analysis is conducted to determine minimum fertilizer requirements for each vineyard.
- Fertilizer applications are timed to result in greatest plant absorption and avoid run-off.
- Grape pomace is composted and applied back to the vineyard or used by third-parties.
- Both native and selected cover crops are used to manage soil fertility, vine vigor, erosion control and provide habitat for beneficial insects.
- Vineyard development incorporates extensive drainage systems to prevent soil erosion.
- Comprehensive and site specific erosion control measures are in place prior to the start of the rainy season and on-going monitoring and maintenance of the measures is maintained and logged.
Vineyard Water Management
- All vineyards use drip irrigation to lessen water use and irrigation systems are designed to meet distinctive needs of each block.
- Weather stations are installed at multiple vineyard sites to gather evapotranspiration (ET) data.
- Other tools including porometers, pressure bombs and visual observations of vine vigor are used to maintain appropriate levels of soil moisture.
- All soil moisture indicators are taken into account, but the most effective tool is our vineyard team, many of whom have over 10 years experience on a ranch and know the needs determined by the unique soil and microclimate conditions of each vineyard, block, and even row, of vines.
- Using Integrated Pest Management practices including:
- Cultural Practices: Leaf pulling to reduce disease pressure and habitat for pests, and reducing dust from roads to control mite populations.
- Habitat Conservation: maintaining the natural environment at locations in and around the vineyards to provide biodiversity and habitat for beneficial insects.
- By monitoring insect counts and species, we are able to determine if enough natural predators are in place to prevent the need for abatement treatments.
- Field observations are taken weekly by a Pest Control Advisor and maintained in a database where the efficacy of abatement treatments can be reviewed and altered as needed, thereby minimizing treatment needs.
- Minimum thresholds for a given block are determined by considering: climate; canopy, variety; age; and crop load.
- Only the blocks, or sub-blocks, that require control receive abatement treatment.
- Grape quality, not crop load, is considered the number one priority.
- We use the French “vigneron” model for farming with the winemaker actively participating in grape growing decisions.
- Winemakers and vineyard managers work closely from pre-growing season pruning all the way to harvest in order to maximize wine quality.
- Wines are constantly tasted blind to determine character and quality and feedback is given to vineyard managers.
- A wide variety of parameters are considered to determine fruit maturity including cane lignifications, seed brownness, berry size, skin thickness and most importantly flavor.
- Brix, TA and pH are measured and recorded for each lot of wine.
- Large numbers of our staff, both in the vineyards and wineries, participate in industry forums, sit on boards of organizations, are members of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture and share our knowledge and practices at conferences across the country.
- Natural habitat is maintained and open space corridors allow wildlife to live in and about the vineyard and to travel freely to the natural resources of water, food and shelter.
- Only 31% our acreage is planted to grapes, leaving the remainder to nature.
- Over 5,500 trees, mostly oak, have been planted at our vineyards in Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties.
- In Santa Barbara County we’re working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect vernal pools and upland habitat for the endangered California Tiger Salamander.
- In 2007 we helped restore the eroding Sausal Creek bed in Sonoma and reestablished native plants. As part of the project we also mentored students in the local Watershed Science and Leadership Programs.
- Hundreds of nesting boxes have been installed over the years in the vineyards to provide shelter for the reemerging raptor population, which in turn help control damage by rodents.
- We also supported the non-profit Hungry Owl Project by providing 100 new homes for barn owls on our Hawkeye Mountain Estate vineyard. The owl boxes were build by local school children from recycled materials and then made available for “adoption” by consumers to help support the cause.
- 68 acres are certified organic as of 2010 and an additional 414 acres have been farmed organically from 2007 to 2010 and are expected to receive certification in 2011 at the conclusion of the three year prerequisite period.
- Each vineyard manager has been farming some acres organically to gain experience that can then be expanded beyond the first 500 acres.
- We have more acres (4,200 acres in Monterey and Santa Barbara counties) certified under the CCVT’s Sustainability In Practice program than any other winery.
- In the first two years of our energy management program we’ve installed procedures and equipment to save 9,268,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year- enough to power almost 1,500 average homes energy needs and carbon dioxide emissions equal to using 750,000 gallons of gasoline.
- We have followed a logical, three-step energy conservation strategy:
- CONSERVE by simply eliminating wasted energy like turning off office equipment at night and using cold water instead of hot.
- OPTIMIZE our equipment by updating our process to best use the efficient equipment we have and then retrofit old, inefficient equipment with new technology.
- PRODUCE renewable energy on-site or buy it from third parties.
- One might think the first thing to do is to put some solar panels on the roof. Turns out, that’s the last project we should work on after we’ve found every opportunity to reduce the amount of energy we use. This way we’ll need fewer solar panels, in turn requiring fewer natural resources to build those solar panels.
- We started with detailed engineering audits of our buildings, equipment and process to find every opportunity to conserve energy.
- LIGHTING RETROFIT:
- We used our first energy conservation project to demonstrate our leadership approach as stewards of the environment. We challenged ourselves to go beyond just changing out the lights and make the hard choices at every decision point to minimize the environmental impact and maximize the efficiency.
- General Electric Partnership:
- We partnered with GE and traveled to their R&D facility in Ohio and worked with their engineers to develop two custom solutions for us.
- We obtained access to the newest, most efficient technology for bulbs and ballasts, the transformers that power the bulbs.
- As the first major customer of this new technology we installed over 4,000 bulbs across our facilities, conserving an additional 155,000 kWh per year from standard bulbs and ballasts—enough to power 25 average homes.
- Mercury Recycling:
- We found that standard protective sheaths surrounding bulbs (for safety reasons in case of breakage) prevented the mercury from being recycled when spent bulbs were disposed.
- We discovered a removable protective sheath that would now enable mercury to be recycled.
- G.E. custom manufactured the bulbs with sheaths for us.
- Greenbay Fixtures:
- We found a “green” fixture manufactured that compared to standard fixtures:
- Stacked more efficiently using 57% less shipping
- Re-used the shipping rack system which is sent back to the manufacture using 93% less cardboard
- Produced 50% more efficiently than competition
- Left all surfaces un-painted to enable recycling when they’re replaced in 10 years with LED fixtures.
- Greenbay fixtures resulted in conserving 502 gallons of diesel for transport and several tons of cardboard and 5.5 tons of CO2 production.
- Dark Sky Initiative:
- We followed protocols for exterior lighting retrofits to:
- Limit emissions light beyond our borders or into the sky
- Reduce energy use and associated green house gases from emissions beyond our boarders
- Reduced wattage bulbs due to downward facing reflectors will conserve 25,000 kWh per year—enough to power 4 average homes.
- MOTOR REPLACEMENT and VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES (VFD):
- Electric motors are the workhorse of a winery and are used throughout to run conveyers, pumps, air compressors, cooling and refrigeration systems.
- Motors are designed to last up to 20 years which is an excellent use of resources.
- Unfortunately, our 20 year old motors weren’t very efficient by today’s standards and efficiency gains of 15% or more were common.
- VFDs are similar to the dimmer switch on your lights and convert motors from a simple on-off setting (off or full-speed) so they just deliver the amount of power needed.
- In 2009 we replaced 104 old motors with high-efficiency motors fitted with VFDs with another 11 planned to be installed in 2011, conserving 3,930,000 kilowatt hours per year- enough to power 627 average homes.
- In the vineyards, inefficient diesel motors on our wells are being upgraded to high-efficiency motors.
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning):
- HVAC is a major source of energy use at a winery and in 2009 we recommissioned our HVAC and tank refrigeration systems and are now conserving 1.34 million kilowatt hours per year, enough to supply 214 average homes.
- ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (EMS):
- EMS is a computerized, intelligent network of electronic devices, designed to monitor and control the mechanical systems in a building.
- The core function is to keep the building climate and tank refrigeration within a specified range while using the least amount of electricity.
- In 2011 we plan to begin installing EMS at four of our wineries.
- COMPRESSED AIR SYSTEMS:
- Compressed air systems are more energy intensive than anything else at a winery.
- We use compressed air to power many systems including the grape presses during harvest and bottling lines.
- We’ve been re-engineering our systems by increasing our compressed air storage and using smaller compressors with VFDs. We’re now conserving 565,000 kilowatt hours a year—enough to power 90 average homes.
- HOT WATER BOILERS:
- Boilers use propane or natural gas to heat the water just like at home.
- Burning that gas releases carbon dioxide and other green house gases into the atmosphere.
- We’ve upgraded four boilers over the last two years to high-efficiency models that will use 30%-50% less gas and we’re now saving gas to supply 65 average homes energy needs.
- LEED BUILDINGS:
- Our new buildings are now being constructed with energy conservation in mind.
- We’ve opened two buildings that have been awarded Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s program Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
- These buildings are conserving over 2,000,000 kilowatt hours a year—enough to power 319 average homes.
- We consulted to the University of California Davis on the LEED features of their new winery and provided several grants to help enable their goal of being the first LEED Platinum certified winery in the world.
- We’re currently pursuing LEED certification for all our wineries under the Existing Building Operations and Maintenance program which requires a year-long performance period.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY:
- Renewable energy is part of our long term plan. We’re following our conservation strategy to reduce our energy needs before we install on-site renewable energy generation.
- Solar Photovoltaic:
- In 2009 we commissioned a study of each of our facilities to evaluate the solar power potential.
- We then took bids for three of the facilities and selected a final vendor choice.
- The economic downturn has resulted in high interest rates and we’ve put our initial plans to purchase solar systems on hold
- We’re now examining the potential to enter into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) which would install solar systems on our facilities, but the system would actually be owned by a third party.
- We’re hopeful that we’ll get our first installation completed in 2011.
- Wind Power:
- Similar to solar power, we had a company evaluate each of our facilities potential for wind power.
- Two locations have enough strong, consistent wind for further consideration: our Monterey and Santa Barbara wineries.
- No wind power projects have ever been permitted in those counties and we’re awaiting the outcome of several projects before the local permitting authorities.
- Alternative Fuel Vehicles:
- Through our partnership with the distribution company VinLux we purchased the first two Peterbilt hybrid medium-duty delivery trucks. As the fleet ages we’ll continue to invest in hybrid delivery trucks.
- We’re also buying hybrid SUVs and looking forward to the new generation of hybrid heavy duty pick-up trucks to enhance our “green” efforts in vineyard management.
- Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs):
- RECs allow electricity customers to support renewable energy without installing a system at their location.
- By buying RECs we in effect pay a subsidy to renewable energy generators making it possible for them to sell power the utility and displace traditional power.
- So far we’ve purchased two years worth of RECs for 100% of our usage at the Napa County Distribution Center and one of our tasting rooms equal to 8,466,000 kilowatt hours- enough to power 1,350 average homes.
- All equipment taken out of service was recycled to the fullest extent practicable.
- DEMAND RESPONSE:
- Demand Response is a program for companies to curtail their electricity demand during peak load times—typically when there is sustained hot weather.
- Benefits include:
- Decreased potential for brown-outs for all electricity customers
- Reduced need to build additional multi-billion dollar power plants to support a growing population
- Lower CO2 emissions from electricity generation—when supply runs low older power plants are called back into service that produce very “dirty power”
- We began participating in demand response in 2009 and when called upon we essentially shut down seven wineries curtailing 3,275,000 kilowatts- equal to shutting down 650 average homes.
Winery Water Conservation And Water Quality
- In our wineries we’re taking a three step approach to water conservation:
- Water Use Study: We commissioned a study at six of our facilities to measure every water touch-point and determine the energy use. This approach also enabled us to determine the associated material and energy costs yielding a base-line for return on investment for conservation measures.
- Pacific Gas & Electric Pilot Project: We partnered with our utility to identify and implement potential water and energy conservation measures at our main production facility. Every water use was measured and conservation measures were developed and implemented.
- Water Recycling Pilot Project: We conducted a year-long pilot project testing a new technology filtration system for water recycling that will enable us to conserve up to 90% of the water we filter. In the fall of 2011 we planning to install the first full-scale system to validate our test results and enable us to save 2 million gallons of water a year the first year, with the potential to save 6 million gallons a year when fully implemented.
- Process Water Re-Use: Our wineries collect process water, used to rinse barrels and tanks, and aerate it in a pond to break down the biological components from making wine. Then, this clean water is used for irrigation in our vineyards.
- Smart Irrigation Systems: In 2009 we installed the first three irrigation systems linked to weather satellites that will automatically update our daily landscape irrigation plan at three facilities conserving over 2 million gallons of water each year (over 50% decrease).
- Green Chemistry Sanitization: Our traditional sanitization regime called for a fresh water rinse after using a cleaning agent. We’ve begun switching to a new green-chemistry cleaning agent that enables us to eliminate the final rise.
- High-Pressure Barrel Washers: We’ve upgraded three of our barrel washing lines to use high pressure water. The new washers enable us to use 40% less water, 45% less hot water and take 20% less time.
- Best Management Practices: This year we’re rolling out a new program to share all the water conservation best management practices between wineries. We’ll be monitoring our increased efficiency across facilities to create a little healthy competition.
Environmentally Preferred Purchasing
- In 2010 an Environmentally Preferred Purchasing program was developed for office supplies.
- That program will be expanded in 2011 to include best management practices for all consumable and waste with the objective of reducing the amount of materials used, increasing the recycled and recyclable content of materials consumed and increasing recycling.
- Suppliers who meet these needs and have sustainability programs of their own will be given preferential treatment.
- Our company has a vision and values statement that includes sustainability elements and in 2008 we initiated Sustainability Teams at our facilities to combine the best ideas from the local and management ranks.
- Workplace safety holds the highest priority and we have an excellent safety program and performance record that supports all employees.
- Constant attention is given to maintaining the most up to date training and best management practices at both the corporate level by the Risk Management team and at the local level by the safety committees at each facility and vineyard teams.
Neighbors And Community
- Each year hundreds of our employees, as individuals or working together, give their time and financial support to philanthropic endeavors.
- Additionally, as a company we support over 40 different organizations in the communities where we work focused on improving health and well-being for children and families, education and the arts.
- Many of our staff members are on the board of community and industry organizations throughout California.
- We also speak regularly at conferences, both in and out of the wine industry, to multiply the benefits of our efforts through sharing our experiences with others.
- In 2010 a number of strategic objectives addressed fuel reduction for shipping and associated air emissions.
- We opened our new LEED Gold Certified Napa County Distribution Center consolidating nine warehouses across three counties.
- This consolidation reduced multiple shipments of wine, gave closer access major roadways and we build a rail spur enable us to direct load boxcars and connect to the railway.
- Additionally, we have a program in place to reduce fuel use through maximizing loads, reducing RPMs, cutting idle time and increasing fuel efficiency.