At Pine Ridge Vineyards, we are committed to and have always embraced sustainable practices. We take every step we can to preserve the ecosystem of our region, and our Napa Green certification demonstrates our commitment as responsible stewards of the land. Our multidisciplinary in-house Green Team meets regularly to monitor and improve our practices and to implement the latest sustainable practices, ensuring long-term viability of our business and quality of life in our community. This philosophy allows us to deliver wines that express their natural origin and will be complex and elegant for years to come.
All our estate vineyards are Napa Green Certified Land, with a fully customized conservation program for each site to encourage and protect biodiversity.
Fish Friendly Farming, a program run by the California Land Stewardship Institute, plays an important part in our commitment to sustainable farming. Our Fish Friendly Farming practices help conserve and improve the natural creek banks along the property, preserve wildlife habitats, attract beneficial insects, and protect local watersheds from pollution.
We take critical steps to prevent silt and fertilizers from entering local watersheds. All loading areas are contained within specially designed areas to avoid harmful inputs and runoffs.
Olive trees and the tall tufts of grasses bordering Olive Pond Vineyard provide an excellent habitat for beneficial insects such as ladybugs. They feed on detrimental insect populations that, left unchecked, could do great damage to the vines.
Barn owls play an important role in controlling gophers and other rodent populations that damage vines. We install owl boxes, and in exchange, the owls diligently patrol the vine rows, keeping them naturally rodent-free.
We diligently make efforts to retain soils and reduce erosion by winterizing our vineyards. Practices include the use of straw wattles, straw mulching, grass seed, and ground cover, as well as the maintenance of drainage systems.
Each fall we sow vineyard rows with cover crops as protection from soil erosion. These crops also act as “green manure,” improving soil health through beneficial nutrients. Our vineyard roads are wetted down with organic wetting agents as an effective way to control road dust during the dry season. Vine rootstocks are matched to specific soil types to minimize depletion of soil nutrients and to increase grape quality.
We employ drip irrigation to minimize and control water use and vine canopy growth, which helps reduce diseases and ensures small berries and concentrated flavors. Solar metering devices closely monitor water levels in soils and vines and allow for more efficient irrigation practices. Sensors present in each vineyard tell us how much water the vines use (evapotranspiration) so we know exactly how much water we need to apply. Where possible we irrigate at night to avoid water evaporation.
Our commitment to sustainability continues in the winery at our home in the Stags Leap District. We are proud of the beneficial impact of our practices:
Every employee at Pine Ridge Vineyards participates in our recycling program. Paper, cans, bottles, plastic, batteries, corks, and packaging supplies are all recycled on a daily basis. During harvest, all of our grape skins, seeds, and stems are composted and reused in local vineyards.
We recapture rainwater from our hillsides to use on property for irrigation. We have installed high-pressure hoses on all water stations to limit the number of gallons used during our production processes. During tank sanitation, we are able to reuse the chemicals and water rinses to sanitize multiple tanks at once. We continue to look for innovative ways of implementing other water saving practices.
Wherever possible in the winery, lighting has been converted to energy-efficient LED bulbs, resulting in a significant reduction in energy usage. The glycol lines in our cellar have been insulated. Many of our lights are on sensor and timer systems where they are used only when needed.
We are proud of our participation in both the Napa Green Certified Winery program and the Napa Green Certified Land program, and we support public awareness of environmental issues. Our back labels bear the logos of both Napa Green programs.