Winegrowing: March 2012 Archives

Sustainable Growing & Wineries: Sonoma

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by Courtney Cochran

Sustainable businesses famously have an eye to the future as well as current projects. As awareness about the need to conserve for tomorrow's generations grows, so does the number of wineries in our backyard converting to eco-oriented wine-growing - and a sustainable future for us all.  Below are some of the Sonoma wineries featuring green practices ranging from responsible vineyard management to economically friendly processes in the winery.

benziger_Vineyard_FromClientWebsite.jpgBenziger Family Winery

Sustainability is built into the mission at this green winemaking leader, which famously focuses on "family, great wine and healthy vineyards." Now three generations in, the Benziger clan - more than a dozen are actively involved in the winery - ensures their entire roster of vineyards is certified sustainable, organic or Biodynamic© via green metrics and a rigorous annual audit. Visitors will see the 'whole farm' ethos at work by way of the farm animals at the welcoming Glen Ellen property (hello, sheep cam!), and can look forward to quality that shows through in the glass:  a diverse lineup spanning Sauvignon Blanc to Syrah is well-received by critics.      

*Visit: 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442; Call (707) 935-3000; Tasting Offer
**Event: Celebrate Earth Day

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards

Nestled into the hills of cool, bucolic Carneros, Gloria Ferrer is in a prime spot for making world-class sparkling wines.  What's perhaps less apparent is this picturesque winery's commitment to sustainable agriculture, something its owners pursue through innovative approaches to everything from soil biodiversity programs to integrated pest management, water management and energy conservation.  Because sustainability also has an eye to the health of people - not just plants - Gloria Ferrer's sustainability efforts support an arts program for local bereaved children, facilitating a focus on renewal of life through creativity.  Ferrer's high marks for hospitality and stellar pours are just icing on the sustainable cake, as it were.

*Visit: 23555 Arnold Drive Sonoma, CA 95476; Call: (707) 996-7256; Tasting Offer

Korbel Practices Sustainable Wine Growing

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There are a lot of wine terms to keep up with if you visit wine country. Many times we have no idea what they mean, we just nod our heads in silent agreement. One such term that many wineries declare that they have implemented is sustainable wine growing. But, what does this mean?

According to the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, "Sustainable winegrowing practices help reduce water and energy use, minimize pesticide use, build healthy soil, protect air and water quality, recycle natural resources, maintain surrounding wildlife habitat, provide employee education, and communicate with neighbors about vineyard and winery operations."

There are many wineries in Sonoma County that have made significant changes with how they grow grapes and make wine. Watch how Korbel Champagne Cellars increased energy efficiency, saved money, reduced CO2 emissions and improved water quality through installing a new aerator system.

Korbel Champagne Cellars Process Water Ponds Efficiency Measures

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