J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is a family-owned, vertically integrated company with 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County, Paso Robles and the Napa Valley, with wineries in San Jose and Paso Robles. We at J. Lohr believe our comprehensive, sustainable approach to farming and producing wines is good for our environment, our employees, and our communities. This commitment to sustainability naturally begins in the vineyards – where the health and vitality of the vines dictate the flavors in our wines – and follows through to our state-of-the-art practices, to our many partners, and is demonstrated in our industry leadership.
January 5, 2010
|Arroyo Seco Vineyards
|Paso Robles Vineyards
|St. Helena Vineyard
|Paso Robles Winery
San Jose 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 soil pits are dug in each vineyard to inventory our soils and guide us in the development of each vineyard.
- Irrigation blocks are designed to match soil differences.
- Ravez (crop-to-pruning weight ratio) sites are maintained in each vineyard in order to assess and make adjustments to keep vines in proper balance.
- Compost is made from our winery’s waste (skins, seeds, stems, etc.) and applied back into the vineyard.
- Roads are grassed to reduce erosion in the winter and minimize dust in the summer.
- Cover crops are planted between vine rows to increase organic matter and improve water infiltration.
Vineyard Water Management
- Weather stations are maintained at multiple vineyard sites to obtain evapotranspiration data that is then used in our water budget.
- Soil moisture sensors, pressure bomb and leaf temperature readings, and visual observations are used to ensure proper irrigation management.
- Drip hoses are checked and adjusted to maintain uniformity in irrigation distribution and optimal efficiency.
- Hand weeding is an important part of our weed management strategy in order to reduce the use of herbicides.
- Vine nutrition is used as the first line of defense against pests and disease.
- Non-tillage between rows is used to mitigate mite problems.
- Parameters beyond sugar accumulation such as cane lignification, brownness of seeds, complex anthocyanin measurements, berry pulp flavor, etc. are used to determine when grapes should be harvested.
- Vineyard managers and staff taste wine with the winemaker to determine which viticultural practices make a difference in wine quality.
- We frequently taste our wines blind against the finest wines of California and elsewhere to ensure that we are producing the most flavorful wines in our various price categories.
- A conservation management plan was written with the aid of our local Natural Resources Conservation District.
- Oak trees are preserved and owl boxes are installed where oak trees are less prevalent.
- Nutrient cycling (composting, cover crops, use of treated water from ponds, etc.) is used to reduce the purchase, and minimize the loss, of nutrients.
- We have installed the largest solar tracking array in the wine industry to supply the power needed for our Paso Robles winery and tasting room.
- Adjustable speed drives, multi-speed motors, and “right-sized pumps” are incorporated into new equipment purchases.
- Motion sensitive, energy efficient lighting is used in fermentation and barrel rooms.
Winery Water Conservation And Water Quality
- A Water Conservation Program in place at our Paso Robles winery has saved more than 900,000 gallons per year since it was implemented in 2004.
- Treated wastewater from the winery is used to sprinkle roads in the vineyards, thereby reducing mite population outbreaks from dusty leaves.
- High pressure, low volume nozzles are used to wash barrels, and an ozone rinse is used to sterilize barrels.
- A potassium hydroxide solution, rather than a sodium hydroxide solution is being used to clean tanks. Potassium is more environmentally friendly than sodium.
- Concrete containment pads with berms have been constructed for fuel tanks.
- Hazardous materials are stored away from storm drains, drains are labeled, and the use of hazardous materials is being reduced.
Solid Waste Reduction And Management
- Centrifuges are being used to reduce the amount of diatomaceous earth needed for filtering.
- When diatomaceous earth is used, it is incorporated into our compost for use in the vineyards.
- All recyclables are being recycled.
Environmentally Preferred Purchasing
- Petroleum-based greases, oils and lubricants are being replaced by biodegradable products.
- Vendors are asked about environment-friendly products before they are purchased.
- Environment-friendly inks and papers are being used for our wine labels (mica-coated paper) and many of our shipper cartons (Kraft paper).
- A Sustainability Committee was formed in the Summer of 2008 to make sustainability a company-wide priority.
- Several mobile shade structures (with bench seating for 22 workers each) have been constructed so that fieldworkers have a comfortable, shady place to rest during breaks in the field.
- Management and staff are very active in local and statewide grower/vintner organizations, serving on numerous boards and committees.
Neighbors And Community
- Our company generously supports organizations that focus on the health and well-being of children and families, the visual and performing arts, and wine education and epicurean activities.
- We regularly host individuals and organizations who would like to learn more about our sustainable vineyard and winery practices, or speak at conferences that focus on such practices.
- In response to the industry’s greening of its collateral, we designed and issued our first ever electronic holiday greeting card in December of 2009.
- Farm plans are designed in part to minimize the number of equipment passes through the vineyard.
- Older diesel-powered irrigation units have been converted to the use of electric power or alternative fuels.
- Cover crops are used to control dust.