Shafer: A Sustainable Vineyard

by Justin Thomas •

Shafer WineShafer Vineyards practice organic and sustainable harvesting. They are also Napa’s first 100% solar powered winery.

Organic Style and Wine Spectator liked their Firebreak 2001 offering. Donna Binder, co-owner of Counter, a hot Manhattan vegertarian restaurant and wine bar, says it is “A real crowd-pleaser, Firebreak has aromas of spicy black pepper, black currant and dark plum that pair well with rich tomato-based Italian dishes. It retails for $35 a bottle.

Shafer returns the grape pomace (by-product of the winemaking process) to the vineyards as a natural fertilizer. Recycling the grape pomace in the fields adds to the ecological efficiency of winemaking. Spread across the vineyards in the fall, it increases the organic and humus content of the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Essential nutrients are released into the soil gradually.

In contrast, commercial fertilizers tend to shock the vines with a heavy dose that cannot be readily absorbed. The application of grape pomace also invigorates the soil microbe population, which is vital to cover crop degradation.

More information on sustainable harvesting at Shafer (PDF File).

Home Page: Shafer Vineyards

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