St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

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OUR STORY : Sustainability

Environment, Equity & Economics

Known as the three pillars of sustainability we consider each of these to be guiding factors in running our business and preserving Sonoma for future generations.

Environment

Certified California Sustainable Winegrower

  • St. Francis earned their sustainability certification in 2013, after a multi-year process, from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • In 2014, St. Francis hired Vineyard Manager Jake Terrell, a nationally-recognized leader in green viticulture techniques and consultant on the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

Water Conservation 

  • Winery wastewater is cleaned and reused for irrigation
  • Soil capacitance probes measure vineyard soil moisture at the root zone so we only irrigate when absolutely necessary reducing water usage by about 30% in 2014 
  • Large vineyard blocks have been broken into smaller blocks enabling us to target and irrigate smaller areas saving water and energy
  • Hoses are fitted with low flow nozzles and flow meters at each water outlet measure and track water usage

Recycling

  • During harvest grape byproducts are recycled and reused locally as fertilizer
  • Paper waste is picked up by a local business, shredded onsite and recycled locally
  • Our Winery & barrel building roof structure was built from 70% recycled steel
  • All food scraps from our kitchen are composted

Environmentally Responsible Packaging

  • St. Francis wine bottles are made from over 45% recycled glass and cartons are comprised of over 55% recycled material
  • St. Francis uses natural cork closures harvested from Cork trees that can live for hundreds of years with harvests every eight to nine years

Vineyard Management

  • Leaf removal and deficit irrigation naturally reduces the threat of disease and pests
  • Cover crop rotation in our vineyards increases biodiversity, improves soil health and increases its water holding capabilities
  • We use locally sourced grapevines and compost in all of our estate vineyards
  • Plant tissue analysis minimizes irrigation and fertilizer usage

Natural Resource Preservation

  • Buffer zones and cover crops control erosion and protect the watershed
  • Nesting boxes around the vineyard provide homes for raptors that naturally contain pests
  • Fieldstone used for walls and drainage areas were naturally sourced from our Wild Oak Vineyard and building site

Equity

Human Resources

  • St. Francis offers annual health and wellness screenings to all employees
  • St. Francis Winery & Vineyards was named one of the top places to work by the NorthBay Business Journal for the past eight years in a row

Community

  • St. Francis employees dedicate their time to supporting the community and youth programs

Economics

Energy Efficiency

  • Our 457 kilowatt solar electrical system provides us with over 40% of our annual electrical needs
  • Energy efficient T5 fixtures with 221 motion-sensors provide better visibility and use 55% less energy
  • Computerized refrigeration monitors tanks for peaks and lows to adjust automatically and only cools wine when necessary
  • We utilize the natural foggy night air to cool our case goods and barrel storage areas

 

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