Sustainable Practices Archives - V. Sattui Winery

Holistic Sustainability at V. Sattui

Holistic Sustainability for Generations to Come

Spring in wine country is always a time of renewal and rebirth. A time to bask in the beauty of bud break and welcome a new vintage to the world. Wine Country is truly in bloom once again and it never felt so reassuring.  However, if the trends of the past few years have taught us anything at all, it is that this precious land and the industry that sustains it cannot be taken for granted.

At V. Sattui Winery, we are dedicated to doing our best to ensure the prosperity and sustainability of the Napa Valley for generations to come. From the soil to vine and every hand that plays a part in crafting our wines to the guests and tourists that keep our community vibrant and thriving – each plays an integral part in ensuring the wine industry remains viable for the future. For this reason, we take a holistic approach to sustainability.

V. Sattui Winery President Tom Davies is a true champion for the philosophy of holistic sustainability; constantly seeking new ways to improve the well-being of our employees, partners, vineyards, and surrounding environment.

“Sustainability goes far beyond the land. It is our livelihoods. It is about caring for employees, vendors — everyone tied to the company. Our approach in ensuring the health and vitality of the wine industry takes all of this into account. We care for the land and we care for the community.”  – V. Sattui President Tom Davies.

As a board member for both Visit Napa Valley and Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, a steering committee member for Coalition Napa Valley and even a member of the Wildfire Task Force, Tom works closely with all branches of V. Sattui Winery – from our vineyard managers and crew to our winemaking and sales teams to ensure that we preserve, protect and nurture on all fronts. With a finger on the pulse of social and environmental challenges, including the warming climate here in wine country, we strive to be part of the solution.

Sustainable Farming Practices

Some of our long-running programs include sustainable farming practices at all our estates and vineyard sources ranging from CCFO Certified Organic farming at Vittorio’s Vineyard to Fish Friendly Farming (FFF) Sustainable Certifications. Both the CCFO and FFF certification programs require rigorous qualification processes that can take up to three years – including third-party audits of all inputs and vineyard practices to ensure the use of organic-only additions as applicable (CCFO) and minimal impact to the surrounding environment and wildlife by way of strategic input application (night spraying and erosion control) as well as ongoing monitoring and recertification. Additionally, we have a robust recycling program that includes but is not limited to composting our own grape pumice and reintroducing it to our vineyards after a year, ensuring even the skins and seeds of our grapes nurture our land rather than go to waste.

To address the longer, hotter growing conditions experienced in recent years, we have tested and implemented modified (V-shaped) vertical shoot trellising at several locations to manage our vineyard canopy allowing ample airflow and preventing mildew naturally while ensuring both adequate sun for ripening as well as sufficient shade to protect our fruit from sunburn. Blocks at Vittorio’s Vineyard, Mt. Veeder and Hibbard Ranch have been converted so far with more to come.

In addition, water resources are being carefully monitored. With 2021 marking the earliest need to irrigate according to the Napa Valley Grape Growers Association, we are exploring avenues to reduce our water consumption in the future including additional dry farming and even removing cover crop early to ensure our vines can utilize every available drop of H2O.

Again, we believe our responsibility extends beyond owl boxes, organic inputs, and water management. Holistic sustainability includes a commitment to supporting our employees and surrounding community to ensure the wine industry thrives for years to come.

An initiative we are deeply committed to is our employee housing program. At present, we have three vineyard workers and their families housed between Carsi Vineyard and Hibbard Ranch as well as H-2A housing for seasonal farmworkers at our Solano property – currently housing 8-10 migrant farmworkers with H-2A Visas. Safe, ample housing for both full-time and temporary migrant farmworkers is vital to our business and we hope to expand upon this program and offer more housing in the coming years.

Napa Valley Forward

Following through on our commitment to sustainability in our community, we are proud to be a part of the pilot program for Napa Valley Forward. First launched in March of 2020, this progressive initiative seeks to reduce road congestion and CO2 emissions in Napa Valley by offering commuting alternatives for our workforce. 40% of all trips in and out of Napa Valley have been identified as commuters to wineries and wine-related businesses and in partnership with Napa Valley Forward and the other 19 businesses that have signed on for the pilot program running through 2022 – we have already saved more than 136,000 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere by connecting employees with alternative modes of transportation from public transit to carpooling, to biking – even telecommuting! Although the Covid-19 pandemic slowed the rollout of this unique program, as restrictions are lifting, Napa Valley Forward’s mission is moving forward once more and we are excited to see our employees take advantage of this special program which offers incredible benefits — from reward incentives and savings on gas and resources to cleaner air for the community and more room on the road for our tourists whose visitation to our wineries, restaurants, shops, and hotels keep our valley thriving.

Finally, V. Sattui Winery is thrilled to have pledged $50,000 annually to the Napa Valley Vine Trail over the next 10 years to help extend the trail from Yountville to St. Helena. This endeavor has many benefits to both the community and tourism, while also promoting a healthy lifestyle and relieving traffic congestion and pollution.  This project is near and dear to our hearts — celebrating the philosophy of holistic sustainability to a T by promoting community health; offering a free, safe, easy access trail system that can be enjoyed by bike or on foot, connecting all of Napa Valley for car-free commuting, lowering our carbon footprint, preserving nature, encouraging eco-tourism – bringing an expected $165+ million annually to Napa Valley’s economy once completed.

At V. Sattui Winery, we are devoted to being responsible stewards of the land, committed to providing resources and opportunities for our employees and dedicated caretakers of our community.  With ever-evolving challenges both socially and environmentally – holistic sustainability is the key to preserving the wine industry and Napa Valley for the future – and we are proud to be part of the solution.

V. Sattui Gives Back

Giving back to our community is one of our greatest pleasures at V. Sattui Winery. We believe leadership is a responsibility and this gives us great purpose. We give back not only to the Napa Valley community, but also to our team members who we consider family.

Caring for the Land

Napa Valley is known for its rural and agricultural land on which world-class grapes are grown. We work tirelessly alongside the Napa County Agricultural Reserve to preserve the land of the valley because without it, Napa would lose its identity. We have protected nearly 600 acres of land through conservation easements to ensure that the land is protected from commercial and residential development. We are taking a stand for our community because we couldn’t do what we do without it. Our long-term goal is to have all of our land, totaling about 1,000 acres, to be protected for generations to come. Here is how you can help preserve the beautiful Napa Valley with us.

Children Are the Future

In 2007, we teamed up with the Napa Valley Vintners’ Adopt-A-School program. We are fortunate enough, and take great pride in, sponsoring 8th graders at Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS) Middle School. With education being one of our core values, we focus on the impact we strive to have by teaching core subjects at the winery for a day, along with introducing them to the science of winemaking. We also introduce mathematical applications in business and language arts as it applies to consumers and employees. Our mission is to shape the future of business and what that looks like to the young students of our community. It’s a privilege and rewarding to see our efforts come full circle when we hire new team members who are alumni of the St. Helena Unified School District.

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Impactful Helping Hands

If you have ever visited our picnic grounds, you probably are familiar with the picnic pack. We owe a lot to the dedicated students of the Napa Valley Unified School District Post-Secondary Project, who take the time in crafting our “Green Picnic Pack.” Our biggest desire is to support these students with pre-employment skills when transitioning from high school to work, and we are honored to call them part of our V. Sattui family. Next time you purchase a picnic pack, know you are also supporting these students which helps all of us make one overarching positive difference in the world.

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Meals on Wheels

The most recent project we are proud to take part in is the purchase of a new food delivery truck. We collaborated with our sister winery, Castello di Amorosa, to transport daily meals to the senior citizens of our community who can no longer drive, but wish to still live alone. The volunteers of the Napa Valley Meals on Wheels program deliver over 400 meals daily throughout the valley. We are giving back to those who have given so much to us as long-time residents and local business supporters in our hometown.

Giving Back is Who We Are

There are many ways we aim to give back and be a leader in our community. We will continue to do so because this is the foundation on which our business was built. Dario Sattui couldn’t have said it better: “Giving, without expectation of anything in return other than the pure enjoyment and satisfaction of helping someone or a cause, is a great feeling. Together, we can make a difference.”

 

Preserving Napa Valley in Partnership with the Land Trust of Napa County

Taking care of the land we farm and preserving its beauty and abundance is one of our core values at V. Sattui and for owner, Dario Sattui.   The stewardship of the lands that V. Sattui farms in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Solano Counties is the recognition of our collective responsibility.

Dario’s most recent conservation effort comes by way of a 40-acre donation to the Land Trust of Napa County, an organization that was established in 1976 to preserve the character of Napa County by permanently protecting land.  This conservation easement, combined with four others over the last 18 years brings Dario’s total contribution to nearly 600 acres.

Coombsville photoThe property is located in the Coombsville hills, overlooking the City of Napa.  It is preserved through the partnership between Dario and the Land Trust. It’s natural and agricultural values are protected forever while the land is maintained in private ownership.

This conservation effort is especially important in Coombsville – where land development including vineyards, homes and wineries has been substantial in recent years. Home to Kreuse Creek, dense woodland and abundant wildlife, the property is visible from parts of the City of Napa, Silverado Trail and Skyline Park. Significant scenic enjoyment has been preserved for generations to come.

“Sadly I have seen tremendous development in the 44 years I have lived in Napa County,” said Dario Sattui. “I wish to be part of the solution by protecting all our properties with easements with the Land Trust. It gives me great pleasure to continue with my pledge.”

The Coombsville conservation easement joins Carsi Vineyard, the historic Hibbard Ranch (Formerly Henry Ranch) and our Certified Organic home vineyard – Vittorio’s Estate – named for Dario’s great-grandfather who first established V. Sattui winery in 1885.

“Five conservation easements is a lot,” said Doug Parker, CEO of the Land Trust. “And they have all gone smoothly with Dario. He is giving up significant value in this easement, eliminating the potential for both a winery and a residence, and we very much appreciate his generosity.”