Our approach to sustainability is guided by the Principles of Sustainable Winegrowing published by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
In 2005, we began our transition to certified organic farming and production, and our final vineyards were certified in 2012.
In 2010, after nine years of voluntary commitment to continual improvement towards a sustainable future, we were one of the first three vineyards and winery in California to receive the third-party, California Sustainable Winegrowing certification for our commitment to continual improvement.
If you would like to learn more about the sustainable practices used in California vineyards and wineries, click here.
Some examples of sustainability that go into our grapes and wines are:
Our 84-panel, 17Kw solar array, installed on top of the riding arena by Akeena Solar in 2005, provides approximately 25% of our total stables and winery electricity use.
Birdboxes: Birds are essential to our viticulture by reducing the insect and rodent populations in the vineyard and the property at large. As such we have erected raptor roosts and bird boxes as well as promoting trees for roosting and hunting.
Predatory Animals: We provide wildlife corridors through our property to the adjoining open space. We work to facilitate bobcats and coyotes stalking our vineyards for pesky vermin by leaving gaps in the fencing for them. Just like the birds, we want to create a symbiotic partnership.
Stems and Pomace (skins and seeds - what's left after pressing): Composted organically onsite and available for home use. The composed stems provide fibrous material to the final product. Some of the pomace is fermented to make grappa, then composed.
Lees (the particulates that settle at the bottom of tanks and barrels; we rack the wine to separate the wine from the lees): A rich source of nitrogen for the soil, but not good if allowed to go into waters that lead to San Francisco Bay. As a result, we collect all tank lees (about 90% of the lees produced in the fermentation and aging produce) and add it to the compost pile to enrich our compost. What remains, primarily from rinsing barrels, flows to our septic system, not the Bay.
Glass: All of our glass (bottles and broken glasses) is recycled at the winery, and we remove and recycle separately the capsules from the bottles.
Cardboard: Used in our case boxes and shipping containers and inserts. We now directly recycle our cardboard as necessary. To reduce our carbon footprint we bundle trips to the recycler with trips to our wine storage facility. The proceeds go to the employee party fund!
Corks: All natural from Portugal. We save the corks for school and personal arts and crafts projects. If you'd like some, just ask--they're free!
Capsules: Ours are tin and use water-based inks to eliminate acids in the manufacturing process. We save the used capsules for cash recycling to grow the employee party fund.