Accepting the 2016 California Green Medal Awards were: (L-R) Lucas Pope of Halter Ranch Vineyard; Katie Jackson of Jackson Family Wines; Jason Haas of Tablas Creek Vineyard; and Dirk Heuvel of McManis Family Vineyards
Jackson Family WinesJackson Family Wines has been a sustainability innovator and an early adopter of healthy land management practices since the winery’s inception in 1982, with more recent actions guided by their company-wide sustainability strategy and a comprehensive audit of environmental impacts in 2008. Incorporating triple bottom line sustainability principles across all aspects of their business, they deployed solar arrays at eight wineries and collaborated with Tesla to reduce energy demand and increase grid reliability, deployed industry-first water conservation technologies, introduced human resource initiatives to improve their employees’ lives, paid a price premium for certified sustainable winegrapes and led voluntary drought initiatives.
Halter Ranch Vineyard
The environmental stewardship commitment by Halter Ranch Vineyard owner Hansjorg Wyss is demonstrated by his preservation of 1,700 acres of the Halter Ranch property and only planting 18% to vineyards, along with the work of the Wyss Foundation to help local communities and partners conserve millions of acres. Halter Ranch conserves water, resulting in over a 50% reduction in irrigation; captures rain and winery water bringing over two million gallons back to irrigation ponds; and farms 281 acres of vines without removing oak trees or displacing existing wildlife and plant life.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Since its inception in 1989, Tablas Creek has been a trendsetter for their wine region, actively involved in the Paso Robles community through their winery association and the hosting of workshops to share sustainability practices. The winery has partnered with organizations such as must! charities, the local animal shelter, arts and youth sports organizations and donated more than $100,000 to support local youth and arts programs since 2002. Employees are compensated beyond the industry standard with fully funded medical, dental and vision benefits, employer-matching 401k plan, educational support, wine shares and annual profit-sharing bonuses to both part-time and full-time employees; and are encouraged to continue education.
McManis Family Vineyards
With a focus on constant improvement of practices and adoption of the latest farming and winemaking technologies, McManis Family Vineyards’ water use efficiency measures in the vineyard include the use of soil moisture sensors, flow meters and distribution uniformity tests; while their winery recycles water and averages one gallon of water to produce one gallon of wine, well below the industry average. Sustainable practices have also decreased energy use, diesel use and tractor work and limited the impact on soil. Making sustainability a core part of their business strategy has not only benefited the environment, surrounding community and employee retention, it has streamlined processes in the vineyard, winery and office, resulting in economic gains that help ensure a thriving business for future generations.
Anderson Valley Winegrowers Association | California Green Business Program | Fish Friendly Farming | Mendocino County Resource Conservation District | Mendocino WineGrowers, Inc. | Napa County Resource Conservation District | Napa Valley Grapegrowers | Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance | Russian River Valley Winegrowers | Temecula Valley Winegrowers | Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley
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