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Sustainability

HomeSustainability

SUSTAINABILTY

At Schweiger, sustainability is a way of life. The property has a 55-acre footprint, including 35 acres of vineyard located near forests, streams, and a diverse and thriving animal habitat. Our vineyard and winery are our legacies, and we want to be the best stewards of the land we are blessed to own. This means that we need to farm in such a way that we are improving the environment and health of the land each year.

machines working in the vineyeard

SOIL MANAGEMENT

Based on steep elevations with varied terrain, it is essential that we employ a variety of sustainable methods to preserve the land and ecosystem while enhancing vine health and wine quality.

bird box in vineyard

ECO-FRIENDLY HABITAT

Working with nature, not against it, is our goal. We have placed nesting boxes for bluebirds, built in conjunction with a local elementary school during their study of habitats, throughout the vineyard.

working in the vineyard

EMPLOYMENT

We have a trained vineyard crew that works with us year-round. They know our vineyard and methods, providing the continuity needed for successful farming practices.

solar panels

OPERATIONS

We have been 100% solar powered since 2007. In addition, we have made changes around the facility that help reduce the amount of energy we use.

Schweiger Cabernet

ESTATE BOTTLED, A ROOT TO GLASS PHILOSOPHY

In the USA, the term ‘estate bottled’ is defined by law and the wine must be made from grapes sourced from vineyards owned or controlled by the producer, made in their facility, and bottled at the producer’s winery.

certifications

CERTIFICATIONS

Our Winery, Tasting Room, and Office Operations are in an ongoing process of self-review to consume less electricity, produce less waste, recycle more, and utilize recycled/reclaimed office supplies.

SOIL MANAGEMENT

machines working in the vineyardBased on steep elevations with varied terrain, it is essential that we employ a variety of sustainable methods to preserve the land and ecosystem while enhancing vine health and wine quality.

Our vines and terraces are cut to follow hillside contours, which helps to reduce erosion. During winter months, rice straw is placed on steep hillsides to prevent erosion and loss of topsoil. Using water bars and trenches, we channel water runoff during the rainy season to prevent soil from washing away. Capturing rain-fall and directing it into our reservoir also allows us to save water while preserving the earth. Being dry-farmed means we only water our vines when they are young until they have reached a stage where their root system is well developed and can “fend for themselves.” Not only does this conserve water but produces better quality fruit.

Each year, all vine cuttings and plant materials are recycled back into the land to supply vital nutrients the vines need.

ECO-FRIENDLY HABITAT

birdhouse in the vineyardWorking with nature, not against it, is our goal. We have placed nesting boxes for bluebirds, built in conjunction with a local elementary school during their study of habitats, throughout the vineyard. This species is native to the area and plays a vital role in controlling the insect population that can damage vines; a healthy bluebird population results in a pesticide-free estate. Because of the forest that surrounds the vineyard, we also have a healthy population of owls and red-tailed hawks who help keep the rodent population in check. By partnering with local schools, we are also educating the next generation on the importance of sustainable farming.

EMPLOYMENT

man working in the vineyardWe have a trained vineyard crew that works with us year-round. They know our vineyard and methods, providing the continuity needed for successful farming practices. This also provides economic stability to our workers. Some of our vineyard workers have been with us for over ten years. We are grateful for their hard work, loyalty, and expertise. We are honored to be able to provide them with above-and-beyond healthcare and employment opportunities.

We provide a complete benefits package to our entire vineyard and winery staff along with their families.  We want to ensure a healthy and happy team while they are employed with us as well as into retirement.  We believe in making amazing wine while treating people with the highest integrity.

OPERATIONS

solar panelsWe have been 100% solar powered since 2007. In addition, we have made changes around the facility that help reduce the amount of energy we use. Two examples are moving to LED light fixtures and insulating our pipes to keep water hot and glycol for refrigeration cold. We also worked with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to replace older tractors with more efficient ones. We also participate in MCE Deep Green, ensuring that any electricity we purchase off the grid during peak hours comes only from renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, and solar.

We source our office supplies for waste management to maximize our use of post-consumer recycled paper products. We are also utilizing compostable products, returning them to the soil, not adding them to landfills. Recycling is a way of life for us. Even during times like bottling, when refuse production is abundant, we carefully segregate cardboard, paper, glass, etc., to maximize our recycling potential.

ESTATE BOTTLED, A ROOT TO GLASS PHILOSOPHY

bottle of wineIn the USA, the term ‘estate bottled’ is defined by law and the wine must be made from grapes sourced from vineyards owned or controlled by the producer, made in their facility, and bottled at the producer’s winery. In other words, estate-bottled wines are made with farmed, fermented, aged, and bottled on-site grapes. This gives us control of every step of the process and eliminates the carbon emissions from trucking wine all over the state. Most importantly, by growing our own fruit, we can guarantee consistent quality year in and year out.

We cleared the land and laid out the vineyard to preserve topsoil and the surrounding ecosystem. We tend the vineyards ourselves. Most winemakers don’t walk the vineyard until days before ripeness. Andy Schweiger, our winemaker, and Fred Schweiger, our owner, are out there year-round, participating in day to day vineyard activities.

Quality starts with the grapes in the vineyard. We pick clean for optimal flavor and quality. We sort out in the vineyard, discarding all leaves, rocks, and other debris to the best of our ability. All wine is made in our facility, where we control every step of the process and taste the wine through each stage of evolution. When the wine is ready, we bottle it on-site, at our own pace, and on our schedule.

CERTIFICATIONS

Our Winery, Tasting Room, and Office Operations are in an ongoing process of self-review to consume less electricity, produce less waste, recycle more, and utilize recycled/reclaimed office supplies.

Our farming practices are designed to reduce erosion and minimize fertilizer use. We are pesticide free and near zero herbicide free. All of our electricity is solar or other renewable production. We are a carbon negative energy facility. We generate more green electricity than we produce.

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