Going Green

Enologist Kelly Fields Reports on JPV going Green

Winter 2008
By Kelly Fields, Enologist

Joseph Phelps Vineyards has always been concerned and aware of our company’s environmental impact. Bill Phelps, our president, has long encouraged ‘green’ choices throughout the winery and we are proud to announce that we have formalized a system we call “green” winery practices. Our main goal is to make world class wines, but in the process, we also want to be more environmentally responsible and sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint.

As many people know, we have farmed a large part of our vineyards biodynamically since 1999 and so far, half of our vineyards are fully biodynamic. This involves eliminating the use of pesticides while increasing the number of beneficial plants and animals so our vineyards can work in unison with nature to improve vine and fruit quality with no negative impact on the environment. JPV has just been Fish Friendly Farming certified in three of our seven vineyards and will be getting the other four vineyards certified in the next few years. We have also been a part of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance self assessment program since 2002. Both of these programs encourage winegrowers to be environmentally responsible and sustainable.

With our new "green" implementation, guests at JPV will notice a few changes around the tasting room and winery. All water bottles will now go into clearly labeled recycle containers. Most of our paper products and office supplies contain post-recycled material, and disposable items are now compostable or biodegradable, such as utensils made of a corn base to eliminate non-recyclable plastic.

All the standard items such as plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard and paper is recycled, as well as corks, foils, shrinkwrap and bubble-wrap. In our summer bottling run we recycled over 600 lbs of shrink-wrap that was diverted from the garbage.

At JPV we are all working and learning new ways to be more sustainable and environmental. We will be getting solar panels at Innisfree, our production building, and retrofitting the lighting to be more energy-efficient. Our landscaping is composed mainly of drought-resistant, native plants and we have precise irrigation strategies in the vineyards to eliminate unnecessary watering.

Over the past four years JPV has changed all of the janitorial cleaning products to environmentally friendly, non-toxic and chlorine-free to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals. All winery sanitation and cleaning products are chlorine-free as well.

We also believe that education is very important: on our intra-company website we have a “green folder” that is updated with new green ideas and what we can do as a company and in our personal lives to be more sustainable.

At JPV we are proud to see the fruits of our labor by having reduced our garbage pickups by half and increased our recycling by 50% in this past summer alone. We look forward to continue to find ways to become a greener, more sustainable winery and hopefully a role model for others to do the same.