Earth Day is about environmental protection, something Oregon wineries are especially passionate about. On Earth Day (and every day) in the Oregon wine industry, sustainability practices are imperative in protecting the Earth for future generations. Wineries in Yamhill County strive to continually improve their sustainable practices, whether it be in the the vineyard or the winery.
According to Willamette Valley Wines, “Today, Oregon boasts the greatest commitment to sustainable farming of any wine region in the U.S. More than half of Oregon’s vineyards are farmed in a sustainable manner as certified by one of several independent organizations.”
While wineries in Yamhill County differ in official certifications, as stated by Willamette Valley Wine their standards remain the same:
- Consider the farm and winery as a whole system and take responsibility for the health and long term viability of the whole
- Encourage biodiversity and protect wildlife habitat on the farm
- Promote soil stability, health and fertility
- Respect natural processes, reducing or eliminating use of synthetic inputs in the vineyard and the winery
- Conserve natural resources, including water and energy, in both vineyard and winery
- Protect the health and well being of workers in the vineyard and the winery, and the larger community
BOYC participating wineries are making commitments to achieve the following standards:
Soter Vineyards’ Mineral Springs Ranch believes in the value of natural processes, using dry-farming methods and allowing nature to thrive independently with their 240 acres of natural diversity. “It is our philosophy that the more diverse an ecological farming system is, the healthier each component becomes.” – Soter Vineyards
Sokol Blosser Winery has had Certified Organic estate vineyards since 2005. Their commitment is shown through their sustainability efforts in and out of the vineyard, such as the winery’s solar panel system and underground barrel cellar. The cellar was the first in the United States to be awarded the LEED certification.
Demeter Certified Biodynamic
Since 2005, Brick House Vineyards has been Demeter Certified Biodynamic. a practice that takes into consideration nature’s lunar cycles. Because they look at their property as a living organism, Brick House decided not to use synthetic chemicals, instead using a proactive approach by creating composts to apply on the land. “It calls for close attention to nature’s cycles and harnesses energies not always obvious to the naked eye. More than most, Biodynamic winegrowers rely on nature’s ability to transform materials; on metamorphosis and the cycles of decay, death and life.” – Brick House
While these are only a few Yamhill County wineries, there are many taking steps to become more sustainable.
For more information about these certifications visit https://trade.oregonwine.org/wine/environmental-stewardship/