As a winery that prides itself on crafting single-vineyard, small production wines, we take our commitment to the land seriously. After all, we can’t create these exclusive wines without starting in a vineyard first. Our view of wine growing has always been to respect the land and fruit, working diligently to make both better. We’ve been taking this approach for decades, but only recently have we fully identified our efforts under a single term: sustainable. As we prepare to celebrate Earth Day, we wanted to share some of our practices employed year-round to ensure good stewardship of our planet.
In the Vineyard
Planting cover crops and alternating row cultivation to limit tractor and fossil fuel emissions are methods that we have been using for ages. These practices encourage beneficial insects, enhances biodiversity and increases soil fertility as a normal part of our vineyard management routine.
Fish Friendly Farming® and Napa Green has ‘Green Certified’ all of our 350 acres of estate vineyards in a land-water friendly partnership. This certification meets with standards developed by our local Bay Area Water Control Board which has a goal to lower sediments discharged into fragile waterways. Working in cooperation with the Napa County Resource Conservation District, we have specially engineered willow revetments on several of our properties to stop soil erosion and repair the creek banks bordering our vineyards. It is our goal each year to continue to evaluate, adjust and improve the land which we farm.
Even in years where we have normal rainfall levels and aren’t in drought conditions, water conservation is a necessity in the Napa Valley. This is a special concern on our Calistoga Estate where the vines struggle in their rocky soils. Special drip irrigation lines feed precious drops of water directly to the root structure of each newly planted vine. Our irrigation emitters are fitted with tubes that drip inside a sunken PVC pipe which stops evaporative water loss. Weather stations at each of our vineyards give us additional valuable data that is critical in decision making for sustainable farming.
We hired a viticulturist and her primary job is to help us continue to improve our efforts. While many of our growers are also Napa Green certified, our goal is to help them all make the right decision. We’re also considering cultivating a bee colony to help with our efforts.
At the Winery
At the winery, Napa Green has ‘Green Certified’ our winery as well. Water conservation remains key in our efforts and we reclaim all of our winery wastewater. We also choose to support local California suppliers to provide nearly all of our wine packaging materials such as glass, labels and bottle capsules. Less fuel is used in shipping when you make the conscious decision to “buy local.” Partnering with a local recycling center allows us to reduce our landfill impact by recycling all our waste materials here at the winery. Even our grape pomace is recycled locally, only to be purchased back in the form of compost for our vineyards.
We continue to conserve energy by continually making improvements on lighting within the winery. Incorporating variable speed pumps which run many of our systems, like winery refrigeration, will allow us to use less power rather than constantly pull on resources. Plus, bottling our flagship Merlot in kegs will save thousands of bottles from ending up in a landfill.
Enjoying the Rewards
We continue our endeavor to sustain resources without sacrificing quality. It has been amazing to see how much easier and better our lives have become by simply caring more about our environment.
Through these combined efforts, we are proud of the wines that we create as a result of our practices. Our Heritage Selections are small production wines exclusive to the winery and crafted from predominately single-vineyard fruit. They truly embody all of our sustainable initiatives and are a tribute to our founder, Jean Laurent.
A prime example is our Pinot Noir, with its intoxicating cranberry/raspberry and subtle earthy smokiness entered with a crushed velvet texture. Those qualities are a direct representation of the efforts in the vineyard. Bright fruit is rich but ultimately balanced and finishes with cocoa powder tannin structure that makes this single-vineyard wine a showstopper in the Springtime.
Save on a Spring Favorite
Celebrate Earth Day with this perfect spring sipper!
When raising your glass of Markham, you can sip knowing what’s in the glass is also good for the land.