Every winemaking team that chooses sustainability as a guiding principle finds itself at the beginning of an arduous path. It’s up to us to define sustainability for ourselves. It’s also up to us to decide how far we want to take it, and how willing we are to overcome the obstacles that we will inevitably encounter.
Sustainability is not for the faint of heart.
Our journey in making a truly sustainable winery has become a way of life. We hope that our commitment will encourage and inform other wineries in Lincoln, CA, and around the world to be bold and innovative.
Here are some of the choices we made at Wise Villa Winery to ensure that future generations have healthy, flourishing land for years to come.
Sustainability that goes all the way
We use a BioFiltro worm-powered wastewater treatment system, developed by the UC Davis Agriculture Department. This solution is quite unconventional, and our search for it taught us that to be truly sustainable, you have to be willing to take risks.
Our treatment system works in three stages. The first stage filters our water through moist pine wood to replicate the forest floor of decomposing material. The second contains a one-foot layer of soil to remove large particles, and the third is a layer of earthworms, which consume the microscopic, suspended solid particles.
Our filtration system reclaimed and reuses 93.7% of our wastewater and pumps it into our irrigation pond, where it serves as a diverse ecosystem.
We have also enlisted the help of UC Davis to implement a multistage soil management plan. At our vineyard, you’ll find owl boxes that we have placed to regulate the mice populations that live down in the nutrient-rich cover crop, eating the insects so that we can avoid using chemicals on our grapevines.
Every year, we work to reduce our carbon footprint. We are building a new, eco-friendly winery into the mountainside deep enough so that the three sides are cooled by the earthen walls, rather than electricity. We’re giving this project our all, and are continuing to make innovative choices in construction to reduce our impact even further.
Setting the standard for wineries in Lincoln, CA
The choices we made weren’t easy, and the execution took time and dedication. Today, our initiatives have earned our status as a Certified California Sustainable Winery and Vineyard. We hope that our hard work will continue to inspire other wineries in Lincoln, CA, and around California to persevere in their search for the right solutions for them, just like we have.