Each year after the hustle of harvest and the bustle of winter holidays, our team takes stock of our goals, our planned activity, and the results that came from that activity. Did we make the wines we wanted to make? Did our wines and team help create memorable experiences for our customers and their loved ones? Can we alter what we’re doing to do more good and less harm? Through this annual retrospection we are always able to arrive at meaningful conclusions that help us chart a better path forward.
One such conclusion from last year’s session was that we need to prioritize being stewards of the environment and work actively to take better care of our planet. We’ve always believed that operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way was of great importance, but we had never taken the time to reflect, discuss, and create actionable goals that would propel our sustainability efforts into the future. Last year we took a deep dive into the subject and have now taken several meaningful first steps towards sustainability that we’d like to share with you:
100% ORGANICALLY-FARMED VINEYARDSSeveral years ago we began moving towards the use of 100% organically farmed fruit in our wines. After last year’s session, we set our sights on using 100% organically farmed grapes for the 2022 harvest. However, because of hard fought sourcing work in the off season, we may, in fact, be able to achieve this goal in 2021. We are very excited by the prospect of reaching this milestone early!
As you undoubtedly know, organic farming can be a challenging enterprise, but is clearly better for the health of the natural environment. Organic farming practices produce less pollution, less soil erosion, and use less energy. And, happily, eliminating the use of pesticides in farming benefits the entire ecosystem of plants, animals and people who live close to our vineyards.
100% SOLAR POWERED WINERY & TASTING ROOMSAs of mid-2020, our Goleta Winery and both of our tasting rooms (Los Olivos & Goleta) are 100% solar powered! The choice to power our fixed operations with 100% clean, renewable, solar power greatly reduces our business’ overall consumption of non-renewable fuels and the carbon footprint of our operations. Our company truck isn’t electric yet, but it may be soon!
We see lowering our carbon footprint not only as an investment in the long term viability of our planet, but also an investment in the long term viability of cool climate growing conditions in Santa Barbara County. Global Warming = No more stunning cool climate wines from Santa Barbara, which is bad.
We hope our small part will encourage others to join the battle against global warming. If you are interested in making the switch to 100% solar power, Google “green rates” + “the name of your electric utility company” to learn more.
RECYCLED, RECYCLABLE, & REUSABLE PACKAGINGKeeping your wine safe in transit is of obvious importance, but the days of using petroleum based shipping, packing, or packaging supplies are over! We now use wine shippers made from 71% recycled material that are 100% recyclable. And, of course, our wine bottles have always been 100% recyclable. We also encourage local customers to bring their own reusable tote bags by holding a monthly raffle for those who do.
Recycling and reuse of packaging reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources such as timber, water and minerals, prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials, saves energy, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. All environmental benefits we can easily get behind!
CAREFUL WATER USAGELastly, and something that is an acute issue here in California, we are committed to being thrifty in our water usage in all aspects of our business.
Using less water in our winemaking diverts less water from our rivers, reduces water and wastewater treatment needs and also the amount of energy used to treat and pump that water. The environmental benefits of wise water usage are complex and wide ranging.
To help in our water conservation, we recently installed a state of the art water meter so we can carefully track our usage. Through this tracking we expect to make the best possible use of one our most precious natural resources.
GOING FORWARDTo advance our goal of being better stewards of the natural environment, 2021 has begun with an extensive sustainability audit of ALL aspects of our operation. We know we can do more, and the results of this audit will guide our future efforts in this deeply important area.
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little bit about our environmental stewardship and thanks again for your support of SAMsARA Wine Co.
We hope to produce outstanding and increasingly sustainable wines that we can enjoy for many years into the future.