“We continue to enjoy tremendous success by focusing on Sonoma County, where we grow 100% of our grapes. With success comes responsibility to future generations who will live and work here as well. Engaging in green practices is the right thing to do, which makes it the right way to run a business."
- Christopher Silva, President & CEO
Energy Efficiency Efforts
- Solar Energy Installation: St. Francis Winery installed a 457 kilowatt solar electrical system on the roof of our Winery and barrels building in 2004. Our system continues to conserve natural resources equivalent to 32,000 barrels of oil, 14.5 million pounds of coal or 190 million cubic feet of Natural Gas, which translates to:
- Removing 775 cars from our roads
- Planting 110 acres of trees
- Supplying power for over 450 homes
- Additionally in 2004, St. Francis retrofitted the lighting in the Winery, switching to energy efficient T5 fixtures with 221 motion sensors units. The result is better visibility and a 55% reduction in energy usage.
- All employees are required to conserve energy in their departments and establish energy efficient practices for their staff no matter how small or insignificant.
- Maintenance crews use electric carts rather than gas powered vehicles for trips on Winery and visitor center site.
- Refrigeration system used to cool wine tanks is computerized to monitor peaks and lows and adjust automatically.
- Natural night air cooling is used for case goods and barrel storage areas to harness the cool foggy night air.
- Low flow nozzles have been installed on all hoses in Winery and cellar.
- Valve indicators have been installed on diversion valves between storm drains and the wastewater ponds and are clearly marked with stencils to eliminate contamination of natural waterways.
- All Winery refuse goes to County transfer station where it is sorted for Single Stream Recycling.
- During harvest grape byproducts are trucked offsite to local Sonoma County business where it is composted and sold as fertilizer.
- Computers/printers/E-waste are recycled at Education Recycling Corp. in Santa Rosa.
- We have established protocol for the disposal of plastic chemical containers and works with the Ag Commission utilizing their bi-annual recycle program.
- All paper waste is picked up by local business, shredded onsite and recycled locally.
- The special ECO Series™ bottles St. Francis uses for the majority of our wines are made with greater than 50% recycled material, which reduces consumption of energy for manufacturing and CO2 emissions by 21% when compared to a “classic” wine bottle.
- Due to their lighter weight, 21% more of these bottles can be loaded in a truck, reducing greenhouse gasses and the impact of transportation by 18%.
- For every ton of glass recycled, over a ton of raw materials are preserved, including 1,300 pounds of sand, 410 pounds of soda ash, and 380 pounds of limestone.
- Using 10% more recycled glass results in a 6% decrease in nitrogen oxide emissions and a 9.5% reduction in raw materials.
- Leaf removal and proper irrigation reduces the threat of disease and pests, while proper preventative maintenance proactively controls pests.
- Vineyard management is developing a rotation cover crop plan for all our vineyard floors to improve soil health naturally and conserve water holding capabilities in the vineyards.
- Ecosystem management - We are establishing a monitoring system to measure amounts and quality of runoff, and establishing buffer zones and cover crops to control erosion and identify tributaries that drain to main water ways to protect watershed.
- During the construction of our Winery and Visitors Center, fieldstone used for walls and drainage areas was naturally sourced from Wild Oak Vineyard and building site.
- The metal building system for roof structure of Winery & barrel building was built from 70% recycled steel.
Responsible Water Conservation In The Winery
Environmentally Responsible Packaging
Glass bottles are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. The use of recycled glass, or "cullet", reduces the amount of energy and raw materials used to make new containers. St. Francis is committed to using eco-friendly packaging, including wine bottles that utilize a minimum of 50% recycled material.
Pest Management and Water Conservation In The Vineyards
The 2009 Farm Plan was established to move towards practicing sustainability to enhance our vineyards and wine quality.
Natural Resource Preservation
Awards & Recognition
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards was recognized by the EPA as a Green Power Partner for our solar installation on Winery and barrel building.
St. Francis received “Best Practices Award” in 2009 from Business Environmental Alliance of Sonoma County in recognition of our environmentally sound business practices.