Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), Company known for more than 60 brands including Beringer Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean, Etude, Penfolds, St. Clement, Stags' Leap Winery and Wolf Blass has announced that 100 percent of its company-owned and leased vineyards in California are now certified as "sustainable" by third-parties.
The company's vineyards in the North Coast have all received certification from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), and its vineyards in the Central Coast by the Sustainability in Practice (SIP) program. These certification programs require applicants to meet eligibility prerequisites, conduct assessments of vineyard operations, and create and implement annual action plans to show continuous improvement.
TWE's team said the company is committed to leading the wine industry in corporate social responsibility. Michael Kluczko, senior vice president of Americas Supply, said, "At Treasury Wine Estates, sustainability is integral to our company culture and long-term success. We have a long-running commitment to embedding sustainability throughout every part of our business. Today's announcement is affirmation of our sustainable farming practices and specifically to the actions our supply and viticulture teams have taken over the last three years to achieve this recognition. We rely on the environment to grow our grapes and to make our wine. It's our responsibility to look after it."
According to the company, TWE's sustainable farming practices are adapted to each vineyard's particular needs, with a focus on continuous improvement. Specific examples include:
- Energy Conservation: The company says it reduced its energy consumption by 20 percent between 2008 and 2011. Energy consumption and carbon emissions were reduced through ongoing efforts including the installation of solar arrays across its sites—the largest for a wine company in the State of California, installing high-efficiency lighting at all facilities, upgrading refrigeration equipment at its Asti site in Cloverdale, Calif., and more.
- Sustainable Agricultural: The company participates in the Fish Friendly Farming program and maintains natural watersheds to protect rivers and streams from sediment run-off; more than 250 owl boxes and falcon perches have been installed in vineyards to naturally control rodents; compost and cover crops are utilized to improve soil health, increase organic matter content, and prevent soil erosion and compaction; minimal tillage is done to aid in soil carbon storage; falconers are utilized in select vineyards for sustainable management of starlings during harvest.
- Water Conservation: Vineyards are irrigated through drip irrigation systems based on soil and plant moisture monitoring, soil type and vineyard observations to maximize water use efficiency; overhead sprinklers for frost protection were replaced by new generation, temperature-controlled frost fans that use clean (propane) fuel.
- Habitat Conservation / Wildlife Protection: Vineyards are planted around existing oak trees and oak woodlands; riparian habitat revegetated along the Napa River; wildlife corridors installed to preserve native habitat and migration patterns of species including kit fox, deer, bobcats and coyotes; river road crossing and fish ladder removed on the Redwood Creek at Knights Valley to allow upstream migration of steelhead; native flowering cover crops are planted to provide habitat and food sources for beneficial insects.
- Natural Resource Protection: Vineyards have regular soil and water testing to monitor and protect soil health and water quality; vine nutrition monitoring is done annually for precise management of the vineyard.
- Social Equity: TWE said it is committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees and scored the highest possible ranking for its safety program by CSWA.
The company owns and leases approximately 6,000 acres of vineyards in California, including: Abbott, Asti, Bale Lane, Bancroft, Camatta, Cat Canyon, Grace Benoist, Big Ranch Road, Chabot, Chateau St. Jean, Clear Mountain, Dos Rios, Foote Home, Gamble, Knights Valley, La Petite Etoile, Marston, Meridian Home, North Canyon, St. Clement, St. Helena Home, Stags' Leap, Stanly Ranch, Steinhauer Ranch, and Yountville.
Additionally, all of the company's vineyards in Australia are certified as sustainable by the Entwine program and in New Zealand by the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program.
Last year, the company unveiled its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) principles in its Fiscal 2011 Annual Report.