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St. Francis is committed to producing the best wines possible while protecting the environment that produces them and helping preserve Sonoma County as a world-class wine growing region.
“As farmers who make wine, we want the air that our vines breathe to be the purest, the water they drink to be the cleanest and the soil from which they draw their nutrients to be the richest,” says Christopher Silva, president and CEO at St. Francis Winery. St. Francis has committed to producing the best wines possible while protecting the environment that produces them and helping preserve Sonoma County as a world-class winegrowing region.
A Certified Sustainable Vineyard & Winery
In June, 2013, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance officially certified St. Francis Winery & Vineyards a Sustainable Vineyard & Winery. This certification recognizes years of environmental leadership status in cellar, lab and vineyard green practices, as well as an extensive audit and application process that required several years to complete.
“We share the news of this honor and our thanks to everyone on the team. Luther Burbank correctly called this ‘the chosen spot of all earth as far as nature is concerned.’ Indeed, preserving Sonoma County for future generations is very much a part of who we are, what we do, and how we run our business,” says Silva.
In 2004, St. Francis installed a 457-kilowatt solar electrical system on the roof of the winery and barrel building which, over the next 30 years, will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 4,000 tons, a conservation of natural resources equivalent to 32,000 barrels of oil or planting 110 acres of trees. St. Francis has been recognized by the EPA as a Green Power Partner for this solar installation.
Each initiative helps to reduce energy usage in small ways that add up to big savings. Energy efficient T5 lighting fixtures with motion detectors in the winery use 55% less energy than standard lighting. Computerized electric carts are used within the winery building and natural night air cooling is used to regulate temperatures in storage areas.
Water and Wildlife Conservation
Winery waste water is naturally cleaned and used to irrigate 120 acres of the Wild Oak Vineyard. In 1998, with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers, St. Francis established 40 acres of wetlands on the Lagomarsino Vineyard in Russian River Valley, building small ponds and planting trees and cover crops to encourage wildlife and water fowl.
Glass bottles are 100% recyclable and can be recycled endlessly without any loss in purity or quality. The use of recycled glass reduces the amount of energy and raw materials used to make new containers. The special ECO Series™ bottles St. Francis uses for the majority of its wines are made with more than 50% recycled material, reducing consumption of energy for manufacturing and CO2 emissions by 21% compared to the classic wine bottle. Due to their lighter weight, 21% more of these bottles can be loaded in a truck, reducing greenhouse gases and the impact of transportation by 18%.