As stewards of the land, sustainability and organics are at the forefront of our winery practices and vineyard management. We believe that caring for our land, our people, and our community is a critical component in producing the best wine possible.
Our estate vineyards in both Stags Leap District and Calistoga are farmed using organic principles and are currently earning CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) certification, aimed for completion in September 2023. Organic farming has always been a part of our vision and we eagerly await certification, officially recognizing the work we have been practicing for many years.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is also an integral component of our vineyard management. This practice allows the natural symbiosis of pests and animals to do the work of maintaining a healthy vineyard—such as planning bird-attractant plants and flowers for a robust bird population to help keep pests at bay. We also employ the use of grazing animals such as sheep for under-vine cultivation—helping to weed and maintain balanced soil health.
As a winery operating in a drought-ridden state, we are committed to limiting and reusing water whenever possible. In 2021, we implemented a new wastewater system, in which all winery wastewater is diverted to the estate vineyard. Not only does this reduce wastewater onsite, but it lessens the reliance on groundwater and the need for irrigation.
In the vineyards, Michael Baldacci and his vineyard team prune, sucker, remove fruit, and harvest by hand. And with an ethos of limiting gas-powered machines as much as possible, tractor use for working the soil is very limited. In an effort to stay committed to our limited use of gas-powered machines, we chose to keep all of the excavated material from our wine cave expansion in 2021 onsite, instead of hauling out, processing, and shipping the rocks elsewhere. Many of the rocks were broken down and redistributed into the vineyard, while the remaining rocks were carefully placed as larger landscaping pieces on the property.
At our Estate House, our hospitality team sources artisan food products from local, family-owned companies. These include locally-made cheeses from William Cofield, Cowgirl Creamery, and Cypress Grove, and locally-cured charcuterie from Panevino. We also serve filtered water, sourced from our onsite wells, that has been run through our state-of-the-art filtration system. Behind the scenes, we avoid using disposable utensils and glassware to reduce our impact on landfills. We actively recycle and compost through Upper Valley Disposal Services, which gives back to the local community by providing balanced organic compost for farming.
When it comes to packaging, we partner with producers of sustainable materials. Our wine bottles are sourced from Gallo Glass, who is committed to sustainability through production of recycled glass and lightweight bottle design. Our wine boxes come from Landsberg, whose sustainability initiatives include products and processes that minimize the impact on the environment.
The well-being of our team and community is of utmost importance. Our team members are supported in furthering their wine education through a company-sponsored reimbursement program and ongoing educational team tastings. As a small team, we encourage each individual to seek growth opportunities within the company based on their own strengths and interests.
As a family-owned and operated winery in Napa Valley, we are committed to supporting our diverse community. As an annual tradition, each year we donate $10 for every active wine club member to a local Napa County nonprofit. We also contribute to Napa County charitable organizations throughout the year by donating experiences and wine to support fundraising efforts.