10 Most Sustainable Wineries in Napa

  • Travel
  • by JILLIAN DARA
  • on MAY 2, 2023
  • 3739
  • 0
Travel

10 Most Sustainable Wineries in Napa

By Jillian Dara May 2, 2023

Sustainability is a term that gets tossed around a lot these days, and through the noise the significance of the term can be lost. So, we wanted to recognize 10 Napa Valley wineries that have successfully achieved and maintained sustainability initiatives, and highlight what exactly about their facilities, vineyards, winemaking, production, and greater mission makes them so sustainable. Here are 10 sustainable wineries to visit in Napa Valley.

Clif Family
Photo Courtesy of Clif Family Winery

709 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 968-0625

Since its founding in 2004 by Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, Clif Family Winery & Farm has garnered a dedicated following for its organically farmed wines and specialty foods cultivated in Napa Valley.

From the start, Clif Family Winery has remained steadfast in its commitment to sustainable practices that support its people, planet, and community. The winery’s unwavering dedication to these values has paved the way for their recent achievement of B Corp Certification, a prestigious recognition demonstrated through their numerous initiatives. These initiatives include earning the Napa Green Vineyards certification for their Certified Organic vineyards, operating the winery with 100% renewable electricity, and utilizing reusable, recyclable, or compostable shipping and packaging materials, among others. With this esteemed B Corp status, Clif Family Winery now joins the ranks of only a select few companies in the wine industry to have received such an accolade.

Markham Vineyards
Photo Courtesy of Markham Vineyards

2812 St. Helena Highway North, Napa, CA 94574, (707) 963-5292

Renowned for its focus on Bordeaux varietals, notably Merlot, Markham encompasses over 260 acres in Napa’s Calistoga, Yountville, and Oak Knoll AVAs. Since being founded 45 years ago by Jean Laurent, who left Bordeaux for California originally in search of gold, Markham has continued its heritage of making quality Bordeaux varietals from quality estate fruit.

Sustainable farming practices are at the heart of Markham’s philosophy. The winery earned its Napa Green Winery Certified designation by utilizing several sustainable practices, such as minimal tilling, planting cover crops, and water conservation efforts. Many of the cover crops, planted between the vineyards, are pollinated by the winery’s own bees, which help to replenish the soil in a natural way. In addition, wind and solar energy power the winemaking process and Markham’s recycling program focuses on U.S. made packaging.

Cliff Lede
Photo Courtesy of Cliff Lede Vineyards

1473 Yountville Cross Road, Yountville, CA 94599, (707) 944-8642

Renowned in the wine world for the estate’s “Rock Blocks”—vine blocks dedicated to some of founder Cliff Lede’s favorite rock songs and albums to differentiate the vineyards during redesign—Cliff Lede Vineyards focuses on producing estate wines from their 60 acres in the Stags Leap District.

In 2015, both their winery and vineyards were awarded with a Napa Green Certification, which recognizes farming and production methods that meet and exceed more than 20 local, state, and federal “best practices.” Some of these practices include conversion to no tillage to reduce erosion between vines, recycling of winery process water for landscaping, the use of solar panels to reduce energy use by 90% and vineyard workers being employed year-round for full-time employment benefits.

Pine Ridge Vineyards
Pine Ridge Vineyards, Photo Courtesy of Crimson Wine Group

5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (800) 575-9777

With such an extensive reach in Napa Valley—Pine Ridge Vineyards has invested in 160 acres of estate vineyards since its founding in 1978—the winery feels responsible as stewards of the land.

The in-house Green Team is committed to preserving the ecosystem not just of their vineyards but of the entire region and is demonstrated by their Napa Green certification. They follow Fish Friendly Farming practices, recapture rain water, reduce erosion by winterizing vineyards, and in the summer dry season, their vineyard roads are wetted down with organic wetting agents to control road dust. They also set their lights on a timer, use drip irrigation and 89% of their material is recycled or diverted from landfills.

Hall Wines
Photo Courtesy of HALL Wines

401 St. Helena Highway South, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-2626

Though HALL may be globally distinguished for its quality and award-winning wines, they are as outstanding for their WE CARE commitment; believing in responsible entrepreneurship and giving back across the four categories of community, arts, responsible business practices, and entrepreneurship.

WE CARE encompasses the family’s active green and sustainable initiatives across their three luxury wine brands, HALL, WALT, and BACA. Major sustainability achievements date back to 2009 when HALL’s St. Helena property earned LEED Gold for its fully sustainable production facility. Since then, HALL was also awarded LEED Gold Certification for its St. Helena tasting room and high-tech production facility. HALL Family Wines’ 12 Estate Vineyards are Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) and three of their vineyards are certified organic by CCOF. Another detail we love, every year all employees are given 40 hours to volunteer for a charitable organization.

Trinchero Family Estates Napa Valley
Photo Courtesy of Trinchero Family Estates

3070 St. Helena Highway North, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-1160

Owned and operated by the Trinchero family since 1948, this St. Helena-headquartered winery is the fourth largest winery in the U.S. and oversees more than 50 wine and spirits brands across its portfolio. Therefore, it’s even more significant for them to commit to a sustainable future, which is exactly what they’ve done.

In July 2017, Trinchero Family Estates transitioned all of its energy use to Deep Green 100% renewable energy across all 28 of its facilities and vineyards in Napa County. Trinchero ensures that all California wines are sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards and is passionate about giving back to the community where initiatives include Sutter Home for Hope and Trinity Oaks’ One Bottle One Tree program.

Round Pond Estate
A true garden-to-table experience. Photo Courtesy of Round Pond Estate | Briana Marie Photography

875 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 302-2575

Since the early 1980s, Round Pond made a name in Napa Valley for its premium wine grapes sold to some of the most cult wineries in the region and for their extremely limited production of estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Following the belief that “sustainable wines begin in the vineyard,” Round Pond Estate focuses on three prongs of sustainability—people, place, and purpose. They foster a positive and educational work environment for their team working in the Napa Green Certified vineyards and established a permanent crop cover of native grasses to nourish their soils (rather than using a till system). They compost grape pomace and reuse it to replenish vineyard soils and use integrated pest management. In their buildings, Round Pond has upgraded their light fixtures to LED energy-efficient bulbs, reducing their kilowatt hours by 14%. And their purpose extends to supporting the local Napa community, which the Estate gives back to the Alzheimer’s Association through funding and awareness.

Bella Oaks
Bella Oaks, Courtesy of Matt Morris Films

1350 Bella Oaks Lane, Napa, CA 94558

On a mission to preserve the original Rutherford site of some of Napa’s most noteworthy single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, proprietor Suzanne Deal Booth has already made strides in rebuilding the repertoire of the land.

It all started when Deal Booth acquired the 18-acre property in 2010, as she began a lengthy turnover and regeneration process of the vineyards; vines were replanted, row orientation adjusted, and soils renewed. By 2019, Bella Oaks converted entirely to organic farming and was certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). Today, the emphasis remains on organic farming as well as biodiversity, encouraging the variety of life on the estate to keep the land surrounding the grapes healthy and thriving.

CADE
Photo Courtesy of CADE Estate Winery

360 Howell Mountain Road S, Angwin, CA 94508, (707) 965-2746

From the beginning, this estate’s three founders envisioned a contemporary winery that would honor the Angwin land aesthetically and ecologically.

The winery was built out of 98% recycled materials (including the naturally insulated fermentation room and tasting room that’s insulated by materials like blue jeans) and was Napa Valley’s first LEED Gold Certified estate winery. The Howell Mountain estate vineyard is organically farmed and certified CCOF and both the winery and the land are Napa Green Certified for achieving sustainability and conservation.

Spottswoode Estate in Napa Valley, CA
Photo Courtesy of Spottswoode Estate in St. Helena, CA

1902 Madrona Avenue, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-0134

Known for their serendipitous story—the first Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 1982, exactly 100 years after the estate’s founding—Spottswoode Estate honors its heritage as much as it’s committed to its future.

Having started organic farming in 1985, the winery is among one of the first in Napa Valley to acquire the CCOF certification (in 1992). The vineyard and winery are Napa Green Certified and the estate is Certified Biodynamic, using biodynamic specialists to ensure the vineyards and surrounding land continue to function as a living ecosystem.