A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

V. Sattui Winery is dedicated to the prosperity and sustainability of the Napa Valley for generations to come. For decades, our organization has spearheaded environmental initiatives that not only protect and champion the vineyards and land of Napa Valley, but also focus on the impacts of our business on a global scale. We’re proud to support and collaborate with vendors and agencies that match our fervor for a climate-positive future. Only by working together can we achieve our goal to preserve this unique, beautiful, and delicate ecosystem – both in the Napa Valley and for the planet.

“Sustainability goes far beyond the land. It is our livelihood. It is about caring for employees, vendors — everyone tied to the company. Our approach to 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

The Right Thing to Do: Regenerative and Organic Farming

Our sustainability and environmental efforts are rooted in the vineyard, with long-running farming programs that improve soil health, increase biodiversity, and reduce water use across all our estates and vineyard sources.

We’re proud to farm 100% organically across 200 acres and four counties. We’ve eliminated caustic chemicals (like RoundUp) that leach into the ground, respecting not only the land, but our neighbors, staff, and guests who use the well water. We propagate cover crops in the vineyard that provide essential nutrients to the vines and build organic matter for healthy soil, while our livestock grazing program naturally controls weeds and fertilizes the soil. In this way, we work with nature, rather than against it.

Water Conservation

We employ several strategies to conserve water, including the selection of drought resisting rootstocks, strategic irrigation, and dry farming (zero irrigation) when possible.

Dry farming is an older method practiced in the early days of the Napa Valley, in which established vines seek their own water sources as deep down as 50 feet or more. Our School House Creek Old-Vine Zinfandel is completely farmed without adding irrigated water, relying on the old vines tapping into the underground spring of School House Creek. While this method tends to limit vine growth, it intensifies flavor in the fruit.

Doing Our Part to Reduce Waste

Visitors to the winery and marketplace will notice our deep commitment to reducing waste.

We engage in glass and cardboard recycling, and use only biodegradable utensils, keeping 116,000 plastic utensils out of landfills in 2022 alone. We use near zero plastic packaging (no sytrofoam, ever!), and a offer a water refill station that saves over 35,000 plastic bottles from the landfills annually. We also compost green and brown waste and are currently in negotiations to adopt 100% compostable plastic wrap in our marketplace. Considering our busy deli and robust cheese counter, this is a game-changer – potentially saving up to 228,000 yards of plastic wrap per year. In the winery, we further reduce waste by using plate and frame filters that use diatomaceous earth (DE) as the filter medium, which is then recycled instead of disposed of.

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

At V. Sattui, we’re committed to reducing the CO2 we release into the atmosphere and have taken several steps to help us towards that goal.

In April of 2023, we converted 200 acres of our Estate vineyards to organic farming. Organic farming requires more passes with vineyard tractors to churn the soil between the vines, but using diesel-powered vehicles more frequently causes additional harmful emissions to be put into the environment. To solve this problem, we’ve incorporated four zero-emission electric tractors into our farming practice. Our electric tractors are clean, efficient, reduce air and noise pollution, and cause less disturbance to nearby wildlife and neighbors. What’s more, by using electric power instead of diesel we’re dramatically decreasing carbon emissions — by nearly 54 metric tons of CO2e per tractor annually. In addition, we use Fisher Twister weeders, known for their hydraulically powered high-speed bio-brushes, ideal for environmentally conscious growers.

In combination with the electric tractors and weeders, our livestock graze the vineyard weeds, further reducing the need for chemicals and fuel. The animals also help us improve soil health by feeding on existing microbes in the soil and returning macro nutrients back to the land. Happily, this also increases the tonnage, quality, uniformity, and consistency of our vineyard blocks.

We don’t just look to reduce our carbon footprint through our farming practices – we’ve also implemented a robust Employee Rideshare Program that pays for the cost of commuting, as well as a Vanpool for farmworker transport. These programs reduce traffic and emissions while providing a welcome service for our employees. 

Conserving Energy

In 2006, we installed our first solar panels to power our onsite warehouse.

Over its 30-year life, this single installation is projected to eliminate 946,440 pounds of CO2, 873 pounds of NOx, and 257 pounds of SO2.  Throughout our properties, we’ve also replaced over 1800 bulbs with LED lights. This will ultimately result in saving over 3.5-million-watt hours annually — the equivalent of running a 100-watt light bulb for 4 years. 

Supporting the Community

Our approach to holistic sustainability goes beyond the environment, to economic and social pillars, as well. Our efforts include:

  • Bolstering local education through Napa Valley Vintners’ Adopt-a-School since 2007 and other generous educational donations, employment, and partnerships
  • Supporting the elderly and needy in the community with Meals on Wheels
  • Helping Napa towards car-free commuting with a $50,000 annual contribution to the Napa Valley Vine Trail 
  • Aiding various Napa Valley organizations making positive changes for the environment and the community (currently Napa Valley Farmworker Foundation) with a $1 donation for the sale of every bottle of Napa Valley Terra Forza (Strong Earth) Cabernet
  • Promoting health and well-being within the organization; reward staff for healthy habits, offset gym memberships

Certifications

Napa Green Certified Winery

V. Sattui Winery recently received the Napa Green Winery Certification – one of the only sustainable winegrowing programs that certifies comprehensive soil-to-bottle sustainability from production to administration to hospitality. Napa Green wineries embrace a commitment to social equity, energy and water efficiency, preventing waste, and reducing GHG emissions and carbon.

Napa Green Certified Vineyard

We’re proud to have attained this prestigious winegrowing certification that truly embraces our philosophy of holistic sustainability, meeting high standards for social justice, regenerative farming, water conservation, fire resilience, pesticide restriction, and climate-smart alternatives.

CCOF Certified Organic

Our 34-acre Vittorio’s Vineyard has been CCOF Certified Organic since 2012, and, as of April 1st, 2023, we’ve proudly implemented 100% organic farming practices and are working towards CCOF certification at all our Estate vineyards. 

Fish Friendly
Farming

We’re honored to have received the Fish Friendly Farming certification, which focuses on improving conditions for salmon and trout and takes a comprehensive approach to environmentally friendly land management.

We’re 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.

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