“We continue to enjoy tremendous success by focusing on Sonoma County. With success comes responsibility to future generations who will live and work here as well. Engaging in green practices is the right thing to do, which makes it the right way to run a business."
- Christopher Silva, President & CEO
Awards & Recognition
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
We are proud to announce that St. Francis Winery & Vineyards has been officially certified as sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The extensive audit and certification process recognized our 457-kilowatt solar energy system installed in 2004, our work to conserve nearby creeks and waterways, and our sustainable recycling initiatives.
EPA Green Power Partnership
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards was recognized by the EPA as a Green Power Partner for our solar installation on Winery and barrel building.
Business Environmental Alliance of Sonoma County
St. Francis received “Best Practices Award” in 2009 from Business Environmental Alliance of Sonoma County in recognition of our environmentally sound business practices.
Energy Efficiency Efforts
- Solar Energy Installation: St. Francis Winery installed a 457 kilowatt solar electrical system on the roof of our Winery and barrels building in 2004. Our system continues to conserve natural resources equivalent to 32,000 barrels of oil, 14.5 million pounds of coal or 190 million cubic feet of Natural Gas, which translates to:
- Removing 775 cars from our roads
- Planting 110 acres of trees
- Supplying power to more than 450 homes
- Additionally in 2004, St. Francis retrofitted the lighting in the Winery, switching to energy efficient T5 fixtures with 221 motion-sensor units. The result is better visibility and a 55% reduction in energy usage.
- All employees are required to conserve energy in their departments and establish energy efficient practices for their staff no matter how small or insignificant.
- Maintenance crews use electric carts rather than gas powered vehicles for trips on Winery and visitor center site.
- Refrigeration system used to cool wine tanks is computerized to monitor peaks and lows and adjust automatically.
- Natural night air cooling is used for case goods and barrel storage areas to harness the cool foggy night air.
Winery Water Conservation
- Winery waste water is naturally cleaned to irrigate 120 acres of vineyards on the Wild Oak site.
- Low flow nozzles have been installed on all hoses in Winery and cellar.
- Valve indicators have been installed on diversion valves between storm drains and the wastewater ponds and are clearly marked with stencils to eliminate contamination of natural waterways.
- Recycle receptacles with bilingual signage have been placed in Winery, shop and vineyard areas.
- All Winery refuse goes to a County transfer station where it is sorted for Single Stream Recycling.
- During harvest grape byproducts are trucked offsite to a local Sonoma County business where it is composted and sold as fertilizer.
- Computers/printers/E-waste are recycled at Education Recycling Corp. in Santa Rosa.
- We have established protocol for the disposal of plastic chemical containers and work with the Ag Commission, utilizing their bi-annual recycle program.
- All paper waste is picked up by a local business, shredded onsite and recycled locally.
Environmentally Responsible Packaging
- Glass bottles are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality.
- The use of recycled glass, or "cullet," reduces the amount of energy and raw materials used to make new containers.
- St. Francis is committed to using eco-friendly packaging, including wine bottles that use a minimum of 50% recycled material.
Vineyard Pest Management and Water Conservation
- Our 2009 Farm Plan was established to practice sustainability to enhance our vineyards and wine quality.
- Leaf removal and proper irrigation reduces the threat of disease and pests, while proper preventive maintenance proactively controls pests.
- Vineyard management is developing a rotation cover crop plan for all our vineyard floors to improve soil health naturally and conserve water holding capabilities in the vineyards.
- Ecosystem management - We are establishing a monitoring system to measure amounts and quality of runoff, and buffer zones and cover crops to control erosion and identify tributaries that drain to main waterways to protect watershed.
Natural Resource Preservation
- During the construction of our Winery and Visitor Center, fieldstone used for walls and drainage areas was naturally sourced from our Wild Oak Vineyard and building site.
- The metal building system for roof structure of Winery & barrel building was built from 70% recycled steel.