There are big, splashy ways to run an ecologically friendly business, and there are subtler acts of conscientiousness that just feel like the decent thing to do. Visitors to Benovia’s Martaella Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley can’t miss the 171 solar panels on our Chardonnay winery roof. They produce some 60,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, reducing our CO2 emissions by 1,180 tons over 25 years. That’s the environmental equivalent of saving more than 20 acres of planted trees.
We also work sustainably in less visible ways. We manage our vineyards by utilizing time-honored practices to harness the power of nature. We build our own organic composts and fix nutrition in the soil by planting cover crops. We provide habitats for creatures large and small—from beneficial insects to owls and raptors—which in turn protect our vines more effectively than any chemical can. We use wind machines to protect the grapes from frost instead of using water. At every stage of the process, we abate our use of limited natural resources like water, or, alternately, gasoline.