Greenwashing - a compound word modeled on "whitewash"... a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization's aims and policies are environmentally friendly. Whether it is to increase profits or gain political support, greenwashing may be used to manipulate popular opinion to support otherwise questionable aims. ~wikipedia
Greenwashing statements are so ubiquitous that it makes us uncomfortable blowing our horn. However, we've received many requests for some kind of green statement - so here it is...
RSV believes luxuriously elegant wine and earth friendly faming are not mutually exclusive. Caring for the land, combined with conscientious business practices (solar power, alternative fuel, biodiversity, using animals to mow the cover crops, to name a few) define the elegant and well-crafted style that is RSV. Good wine shouldn't hurt... your palate or the planet.
Organic and BD - RSV farms approximately 200 acres of CCOF certified organic vineyards in five Carneros and one Stags Leap District locations. As of the 2012 vintage, RSV cancelled membership in Demeter USA and can no longer use the trademark Demeter or Biodynamic even though farming practices have not changed. RSV does not purchase any fruit.
Solar - A 72KW photovoltaic array produces about 70% of the energy needed to run the winery. RSV plans an efficiency remodel in 2013 to reduce energy needs.
Water Use and Engineered Wetlands - RSV has designed an engineered wetland to reclaim all production water for reuse on the landscape and farm around the winery. Construction is expected to begin winter/spring 2013. In the vineyards, RSV uses deficit irrigation, drip emitters and soil moisture monitoring to reduce water use.
Biodiesel - RSV runs ASTM certified biodiesel, made from soybean oil in all diesel farm tractors and trucks.
Electric Farm ATV - RSV was an early adapter and first in line to take delivery of an industrial strength, all electric ATV from Barefoot Motors - though the zero emission technology offers promise, Barefoot motors became a casualty on the bleeding edge of sustainability. RSV feels it is important to support this fledgeling industry so that we can fulfill the promise of emission-free farming.
Compost - RSV composts all winery pomace produced during harvest; converting it into Biodynamic compost by adding the following BD preps: 502=Yarrow Prep, 503=Chamomile Prep, 504=Nettle Prep, 505=Oak Bark Prep, 506=Dandelion Prep and 507=Valerian Prep. The compost serves as a key element of RSV's soil fertility program and is applied directly to the vineyards, winery grounds , kitchen garden and/or injected through the vineyard drip system as a soil inoculant after first being brewed into a compost tea.
Sheep - Sheep have been grazing RSV's vineyards in the winter for many years. These living tractors mow the cover crop, reduce the use of fossil fuels, fertilize the soil and aid in frost control by keeping the cover crops low when the ground is too wet for tractors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRlc0JZgG3s
Habitat Restoration and Biodiversity - RSV leaves existing trees and habitat intact on all properties. RSV plants California native and drought tolerant hedgerows to improve biodiversity and create beneficial habitat. RSV is working on restoring 4 acres of oak woodland and riparian habitat on its OSR Vineyard.
RSV practices a minimum-till style of farming with all vineyards planted to cover crops. No herbicides are ever used. Owl and bluebird boxes and raptor perches adorn all vineyards.
Fish Friendly Farming - All of RSV's vineyards are Fish Friendly Farming certified; which means roads and vineyards are maintained to reduce soil erosion and run-off to protect streams and creeks in the Napa watershed.
Recycle - RSV recycles all waste plastic, metal, wood and paper as well as computers and other technology products, CDs, mobile phones, cables, etc.
Biodegrade - RSV uses biodegradable materials whenever possible. One example is the use of plant based and biodegradable sisal twine instead of the more common green plastic tie tape used to train vines.
Reuse - RSV uses 100% recycled paper and soy based ink for all collateral materials.
Efficiency - RSV's frost control wind machines use less energy and fuel than the standard wind machines. (more info on that here: http://www.frostprotection.com)
Carbon Offset - RSV purchases carbon offsets for all direct wine shipments.
Culinary Gardens and Orchards - RSV maintains culinary gardens at the winery with herbs, fruits, and vegetables as well as certified organic fruit and olive tree orchards at the Capa and Three Amigos and SLD Estate Vineyards. A truffle orchard was planted in 2010 with English oaks and Filberts and inoculated with Black Winter Perigord truffle (tuber melansporum) and Summer Burgundy truffle (tuber aestivum/uncinatum).
RSV has an agreement with a local bee keeper who maintains bee hives on some of our unplanted vineyard acreage; in return, we get free pollination and tasty local honey!
The Perfect Circle - RSV's Perfect Circle program is a way of giving back. Five percent of the profit of all Perfect Circle wines goes to non-profit organizations who either educate youth about organic agriculture, preserve heirloom agricultural ways and means or develop sustainable farm energy programs, like vegetable based fuels for use in tractors.
A regular recipient of RSV's Perfect Circle is Alice Waters' edible schoolyard program. The Edible Schoolyard is a place where children learn about the connection between what they eat and where it comes from, with the goal of fostering environmental stewardship and revolutionizing the school lunch program.
The Robert M Sinskey Foundation - Dedicated to the advancement of medical science throughout the world through the support of education, scholarship, medical and scientific research and clinical activities. Specifically, the RMS Foundation raised the funds for a pediatric ophthalmology clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. http://tinyurl.com/cpgkzg