The Green Efforts of 2 Northern California Wineries

Green EffortsYou begin to realize just how big California’s North Coast wine country is when you use Google Maps to figure out how far it is from Napa Valley’s Markham Vineyards to Mendocino County’s Parducci Wine Cellars.

Care to take a guess?

It’s exactly 73 miles, a trip that takes a little less than an hour and a half on Highways 29, 128 and 101.

Markham and Parducci may be dozens of miles apart geographically, but they are close neighbors when it comes to their efforts to protect the land for future generations.

Markham Vineyards’ view of wine growing has always been to respect the land and fruit while working diligently to make both better. The only difference now is that the objective has a name: sustainability.

The use of cover crops and alternate row cultivation to limit tractor and fossil fuel emissions, while still encouraging beneficial insect and plant growth, are methods that Markham has embraced for decades.

Sustainability starts in the field and focuses on environmentally beneficial land management practices. At the winery, the focus on sustainability continues in a more complex way. Water conservation remains key in efforts to be good stewards of the historic property; all winery wastewater is reclaimed.

Markham supports local California suppliers that provide packaging materials such as glass, labels and bottle capsules. Partnering with a local recycling center allows the winery to reduce its landfill impact by recycling all packaging materials. Even Markham’s grape pomace is recycled locally, and the winery purchases it back in the form of compost for its vineyards.

Parducci’s waste water reclamation efforts are well known in Mendocino County, and recently caught the eye of television producers.

In episode 9 of Food Forward TV, “Quest for Water,” Parducci proprietor Tim Thornhill takes viewers on a tour of Parducci Wine Cellars.

Where waste water once flowed freely from Parducci’s drains, Thornhill has designed and implemented a system of reclaiming and treating the waste water efficiently, so it can be re-used for irrigation. It’s an important part of the winery’s conservation and sustainability efforts.

Click here for a link to a trailer for the program.

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Posted in Wine and the Environment
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