Sustainability is not simply a fashionable buzzword to the management and crew at Wheeler Farms Vineyards in St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley.
Fully committed to reducing its environmental footprint while maintaining the highest quality wines, Wheeler Farms adheres strictly to its vineyards and winery eco-friendly practices.
While eco-friendly terms are ever-present these days, achieving sustainability is the essence of this initiative. In simplest terms, global sustainability represents a commitment to meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
To this end, the Wheeler Farms management team has examined the organization, department by department, and every function to identify opportunities to enhance the enterprise’s sustainability.
How Does Wheeler Farms Support Sustainability?
Our Vineyard and Winery
The vineyard and winery are Napa Green Certified, acknowledging that Wheeler Farms has become responsible stewards of their land and resources. Recognition by Napa Green focuses on sustainable practices employed in water, energy, carbon, and other resource management.
Other sustainable practices employed in our winery and vineyards in St.Helena include:
· Installing a membrane bioreactor wastewater treatment system that treats all the water from the winery is used for all landscaping.
· Using a UV light to sanitize tanks reduces the demand for water and chemicals.
· Coating the tanks with a high-grade interior polish that requires less water and energy to clean. Each tank is a closed system with its own pump and hard lines, eliminating the need to clean the pump after each pump-over. This strategy reduces water and chemical usage
· Transferring excess water as it is heating to use in other winery areas.
· Composting the grape pomace in cooperation with Upper Valley Disposal.
· Recycling all shrink wrap.
· Collecting the lees for use in distillation.
· Implementing permanent tableware to reduce the use of disposable products in the break room and production kitchen
· Using water bottles and coffee mugs to remove the need for single-use plastics.
· Implementing printer paper that is at least 30% post-consumer waste and started using tree-free paper from TreeZero, a carbon-neutral material made from sugarcane waste fiber.
Our Garden and Orchard
In other areas around our St. Helena winery, Wheeler Farms employs new organic and biodynamic practices by:
· Watering our gardens with Any leftover water from guest visits, including glasses, pitchers, simple cooking water, etc., is collected in the dish room and used to water the garden daily.
· Feeding fruit and vegetable scraps, weeds, and imperfect or overgrown vegetables to our chickens as part of their regular diet.
· Making egg cartons and berry baskets from recycled materials and reusing them daily.
· Planting our garden and orchard with the bees in mind to maintain a healthy hive, as they are an integral part of our ecosystem at Wheeler Farms.
· Sustaining a healthy population of ladybugs and other beneficial insects plays a role in the health of the garden and orchard, making it easier to eliminate pesticides.
Our Kitchen and Hospitality House
We always cook what is in season. Since vegetables are a dominant component of tasting, lunch, and special event menus, most ingredients come from our garden and orchard. We supplement those with products sourced from other local farmers, fishermen, and gardeners who also adhere to organic or sustainable practices. Also, we:
· Provide guest napkins and towels made from recyclable, unbleached material, and we use only reusable towels for all cleaning and kitchen prep.
· Use second-hand pots and pans purchased chiefly from restaurants that may have closed. We prefer recyclable cast iron to non-stick pans that are not recyclable.
· Purchase spices and pantry items in bulk and store them in glass jars.
· Installed two electric vehicle chargers in the visitor parking lot.
Choices of Packaging and Printed Materials
Our printed materials used to inform guest experiences in the Hospitality House are produced with Greenerprinter, America’s leading environmentally friendly printer based in the Bay Area. This paper product is made from 100% recycled material, chlorine-free, Forest Stewardship Council® Certified, and deemed Ancient Forest Friendly. The inks are vegetable-based with low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to reduce harmful emissions.
Seaman Paper tissue papers are used to wrap our winery’s bottles. Our Team chose this company since it is also engaged in sustainable practices, including responsible fiber sourcing and eco-friendly water, energy, and waste management.
The boxes and inserts used for our wine shipments are also 100% biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable.
Our Wheeler Farms’ Commitment
While sustainable practices are not always the most economical, we at Wheeler Farms believe that our initiatives, combined with those of others, will pay tremendous dividends in the future.
As one of the leading wineries and vineyards in St. Helena, our commitment to sustainability and maintaining a healthy, unblemished environment for future generations is sincere.
To learn more about Wheeler Farms, one of the most sustainable St. Helena wineries, visit our website at https://www.wheelerfarmswine.com/.