Sustainability in Wine Making | SilverOak.com

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Sustainability in Action

Sustainability is not an ethos we’ve recently adopted; it’s been our way of life for 40 years. Our livelihood and the livelihood of future generations depend on the ecological viability of our land. These earth-friendly practices lead not only to healthier vineyards, but to higher quality grapes and wine.

Solar

Our Oakville winery features 1,464 solar panels, enough to power all of our energy needs, most of the time. Since installation, we’ve reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what an average passenger car emits over 122 years. The panels have generated more energy than we use, resulting in 292,000 kilowatt hours sent back to the grid.

Solar Panels

Vineyard Practices

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – We use IPM to regulate insect populations. This keeps harmful pests in check by providing habitat that attracts beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, spiders, bees, butterflies and predatory mites. We’ve also built nesting boxes in our vineyards for bluebirds and owls, both of which help control unwanted insect and rodent populations.

Vineyard Practices

Cover Crops – We plant cover crops between the vine rows. These help to build organic matter, suppress weeds, improve soil structure and reduce nutrient loss – all of which lead to healthier soils and grapevines.

Water Conservation – To conserve water, we utilize deficit irrigation systems with soil moisture sensors and plant stress monitors to determine the precise level of water application.

Fish Friendly Farming® Certification – This program certifies agricultural properties that restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality. Our certified vineyards include Soda Canyon Ranch, Miraval, Calistoga and Geyserville Estate Vineyards.

Winery Practices

Green Building – Our winery in Oakville, completed in 2008, is designed for maximum energy efficiency. The fermentation room features “natural” air conditioning, with vents that suck out hot air and allow cool night air to funnel in. Expansive windows provide abundant natural light, and the barrel chai has 11" thick walls, keeping temperatures constant.

Green Business Certified – Our Napa Winery is certified under the Napa Green Winery Program by the Napa County Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Association of Bay Area Governments’ (ABAG) Green Business Program. This winery has completed all the regulatory components needed for environmental sustainability, including developing water and energy conservation methods, preventing pollution and reducing solid waste. This program is set to become the standard for the state of California.

Certified Napa Green Land – To achieve this certification we had to create and implement a customized farm plan that can deliver measured results for all aspects of our property, vineyard land, and non-farmed land. This plan addresses soil conservation, water conservation, stable drainage, riparian corridor enhancement, fisheries and wildlife habitat enhancement, as well as long-term improvement and sustainability.

Other Certifications – We have also received certifications from the Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office of Pesticide Regulation, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Game and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Reuse – Our Oakville winery makes extensive use of reclaimed materials. The winery’s limestone exterior came from an old flour mill in Kansas that was about to be torn down, and the tasting bar is crafted of salvaged timber from a Missouri barn.

Recycling – We recycle glass, cardboard, metal, paper and plastics at each of our wineries, and 90% of our shipping materials are recyclable.

Cork Recycling Program – We send corks from opened bottles to ReCORK, whose partners use the reclaimed cork in products such as shoes, playground equipment and flooring.

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