What exactly is a winery that is sustainable? Without a straightforward answer, this is a difficult question. The idea started several years ago when farmers were concerned with the extensive use of chemicals in agriculture and their desire for future generations to leave a legacy. Many wineries are passed down from generation to generation and preserving an atmosphere of sustainability is one way to keep them alive and safe. see post
You can see signs of natural farming being used in vineyards and wineries in the region while travelling through the wine country. Among the grapes that help with weed reduction and vine fertilisation, you can see sheep roaming. For this reason, chickens may also be used, and are often seen walking along with the sheep to keep them company. In San Louis Obispo county, wineries such as Oso Libre Winery have cattle ranches owned in association with their vineyards. Cow manure helps provide the grapes with a natural fertiliser, and being able to sell their customers grass-fed Angus beef provides the owners with another income source.
Among vineyard owners, pest control is a common concern. The use of various types of birds is one of the things that can help with this issue. Many types of bugs are bad for grape vines, such as aphids and leafhoppers. Song birds and bats eat bugs, so having a breeding place for these birds will provide a more natural way for a vineyard to remove these bugs. Gophers, rats and mice can also pose major problems, so owls were introduced to aid in their elimination. It may take the owls a while to locate the nesting boxes set up for them, but they are likely to live once they find them.
There are other variables that can help to be environmentally effective for a winery. It is possible to use renewable energy such as wind and solar power to provide electricity, and covering crops grown with vines will help keep destructive weeds out and provide protection for friendly creatures such as spiders and ladybugs.
Many customers live a more natural, sustainable lifestyle, and wineries who want to compete for their company can not only aspire to be organic, but can work with their labels to bring the SIP certification, which means going beyond and beyond what is needed to be organic for them.