how we're greening-up
the wine industry
Trinchero is a
leader and has
taken a key role
it has honed over
While many businesses are starting to jump on the green bandwagon, we've been committed to environmentally responsible practices for decades: in our vineyards, in our wineries and even in our corporate offices.
In fact, Trinchero Family Estates is a green pioneer—not just in the world of wine, but throughout the business world. We set the standards when it comes to sustainable farming, waste reduction, water conservation, recycling, energy efficiency and more. In turn, other wineries are following our lead, incorporating many of our innovative best green management practices.
In recognition for our efforts, we've received the Green Business Award from Napa County, and for eight consecutive years, we've received the WRAP (Waste Reduction Awards Program) from California's Integrated Waste Management Board—the only Northern
California winery to be singled out for the honor—as well as the WRAP of the year award in 2005.
We're as proud of these awards as we are of the medals we've received for our wines over the years. Doing right by the environment—and in turn, our employees, our community and our planet—is a responsibility we take very seriously.
At Trinchero Family Estates, we believe we are custodians of the environment, and as such, it is our duty to take care of and respect the earth and its ecosystems. With over 7,000 acres of vineyards, we feel a responsibility to the land and have sought to set a standard in environmental stewardship. That's why we insist on using sustainable farming practices in all of our vineyards, and incorporate organic and/or biodynamic practices whenever we can.
Our goal is to care for the land in perpetuity—in other words, we want to pass the land to future generations in a more fertile, healthy state than we received it. Our sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices are not destructive, and can, over time, heal the environment—and the planet as a whole.
When it comes to farming, different vineyards require different attention, which is why we diversify our farming practices. We follow the strict guidelines
established by the "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices" in all vineyards that are not otherwise farmed biodynamically or organically. Our organic vineyards adhere to the rules set up by the California Certified Organic Farmers Association (CCOF). We also participate in the Napa Valley Green Farming and Fish-Friendly Farming certification programs and the Lodi Rules Sustainable Farming Program to ensure we are respectful of the environment beyond our vineyards.
But it doesn't stop there—our farming practices also take our employees, neighbors and communities into consideration. We adhere to socially equitable standards and have
partnered with various
organizations in the
community to minimize our
impact on the environment.
we feel a
to the land —
SMART WATER Water is a precious resource, and we've always been very conscientious about how we use and source water for our vineyards. To ensure efficient use of water and to minimize our impact on the landscape, we use drip irrigation systems among the vines. We also recycle wastewater from our wine production facilities to use for irrigation, and have contracted with neighboring communities to use their tertiary treated wastewater for supplemental irrigation supply.
SMART COMPOSTING Our in-house composting facility converts over 15,000 tons of grape skins, seeds and stems into valuable fertilizer for our vineyards. In addition, our winery will compost approximately 13,000 tons of pomace generated by the Main Street and Zinfandel Lane facilities in Napa Valley, and there is an additional 175 tons of biodynamic compost that is created as a byproduct of our farming practices that we can use to nourish our vineyards. The benefits are
but we are also improving our soil texture, enhancing soil microbiology, and providing additional nutrients for the vines.
we convert over
28,000 tons of
that's good for
our vines and
Rather than use chemicals in our vineyards, we strive to use natural combatants whenever possible. Trinchero Family Estates strictly prohibits the use of potentially hazardous chemicals like methyl bromide, karmex and omite in all company vineyards.
Instead, we plant phylloxera resistant root-stocks, use botanical oils and use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to naturally control vineyard pest problems and minimize the use of agricultural pesticides. Planting cover-crops like flowers, oats, barley and legumes lure beneficial insects like ladybugs, wasps, lacewings and minute pirate bugs who feast on detrimental pests like aphids, leafhoppers and mites. And, at many of our vineyards, we've established natural grass greenbelts and lakes to provide additional habitats for the good-guy insects, and placed owl boxes and raptor perches in the vineyards to attract birds that control other pests like mice and gophers.
Our in-house Pest Control Advisor for company vineyards in Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Napa, and Santa Barbara counties, has been nominated for California's IPM Innovator Award. He has also received a grant from the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture to initiate a project to remove non-native plants hosting Pierce's Disease from riparian environments adjacent to the Napa River. Other vineyard personnel are working with the state to develop new pest suppression strategies, such as planting French prune trees near vineyards to harbor the anagrus wasp, a natural predator of the leafhopper.
has led to
a decrease in
the use of
THE GREEN MODEL Trinchero Family Estates has become a green model for wineries around the world. Because of our commitment to conservation, we are constantly looking for new ways to pare back our consumption of resources and lessen the impact we have on the environment. At our winery's production facilities, we have managed to decrease our water consumption to 1.5 gallons per gallon of wine produced-in contrast, the average winery uses 5-6 gallons of water to make a single gallon of wine. Plus, all of the water used in production is treated in-house and used to irrigate our vineyards and landscaping.
WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND Recycling is a comprehensive, company-wide effort at Trinchero Family Estates. Every department-including our tasting rooms, shipping & receiving centers, and our corporate offices-participates in our program. We recycle everything! Packaging, shipping materials, paper, plastic, glass, aluminum and tin-if it can be recycled, we do it.
In fact, our recycling program has been so successful, we've been able to create an Employee in Need fund with the proceeds.
We also insist on using a high percentage of recycled materials for our production. Our wine bottles are made of up to 50% recycled glass, and we've eliminated the punts on the bottom of many of our bottles to create less waste. We also incorporate recycled materials for our shipping and have worked to redesign our packaging to create less waste.
20 tons of
850 tons of
and 100 tons
When it comes to energy efficiency, we've put Mother Nature to work for us. During the harvest season, we pick most of our grapes at night when temperatures are cooler, reducing the need for refrigeration. And to cool our buildings and save even more energy, we use exhaust fans to draw the cool night air into our storage facilities.
We've also invested in energy-efficient refrigeration systems, lighting and insulated tanks to promote smart energy usage in our wineries. Every product we buy for production is evaluated for efficiency, noise and air pollution and overall energy use. Though more expensive than standard equipment, we believe that the return on the investment comes back two-fold: first, in lower energy expenses, and second, in a healthier environment. We have also employed the use of solar power at our various facilities. With solar panels on the
rooftops of various TFE buildings, we are able to run our facilities using less energy than is needed using traditional power sources.
Trinchero Family Estates is also saving energy on the road. We've moved 50% of our key bottling and distribution facilities to be closer to major freeways, thereby reducing the incidence of truck traffic and pollution in agricultural areas. We strive to ensure that all delivery trucks leave with a full load or not at all. These efforts have resulted in thousands of fewer truck trips per year and a cumulative reduction in air pollution.
all of our
we've been able
the use of
by 950 tons.
There's a lot of work yet to be done, but small changes can have a big impact. And by getting everyone involved, we hope to meet the challenges of being Clean and Green and inspire other businesses to do the same.
We'll continue to develop partnerships with key organizations to ensure that we're doing everything in our power to protect and care for the environment. We'll continue our involvement in organic and sustainable certification programs at the local level and support environmental education and research programs. As members of the national Climate Wise Program, an EPA-sponsored organization that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gases, we are setting the industry standards for energy-efficient operations. And we've collaborated with professors at the University of California at Davis to develop a carbon footprint calculation tool for the International Wine Industry.
Our challenges are far from over, but from where we stand today, the world is looking a little greener every day.