Girard Winery Head Winemaker Glenn Hugo said the Napa Valley Winery has made sustainability a priority, going to considerable lengths to protect the environment.
Those efforts include drawing their power from a solar array that provides the winery with about 95% of its energy needs and numerous other improvements designed to save water, energy and their employees’ backs.
“It’s our intention to be better about what we do,” Hugo said. “Even from a business standpoint, it just made more and more sense to go solar, be conservative with water and spend money as we can to find things that help us be more sustainable and control our impact on the environment.”
Girard moved to a new facility in Calistoga in 2018, which Hugo said allows their team to control all aspects of their winemaking process and connect easily with consumers who discover their brand.
And being good stewards of the land and their resources was top on their minds when they constructed their new winery, Hugo said. The company, which went public this year, is using the capital raised to continue investing in sustainability initiatives.
“We’ve put a lot of capital investment into this property,” Hugo said. “We’ve done a lot of small, detail-oriented things to help us with conservation. We have smart doors that are remote controlled and have sensors to prevent the loss of cooling and humidification. And we’ve added the practice of using night air here. It’s in the 40s and 50s at night, so we pull air through our fans instead of using the air conditioning. It will hold the temperature (without AC) until late morning or early afternoon.”
Equipment purchases that have been made to prioritize speed and efficiency (and decrease net power usage) while maintaining/improving quality include a Pellenc Grape Destemmer and Sorter and a 20-ton press that reduces the number of cycles and the need for cleaning, which means less water and fewer chemicals are needed.
Girard also uses computerized barrel washers that use high pressure and low-flow heads and recycled ozonated water to minimize water use.
These improvements have been made with both the environment and employees in mind, Hugo said.
“We place tremendous value on care and stewardship for the environment and attention to the well-being and livelihoods of the many people involved in creating our wine,” Hugo said. “We treat our employees, contractors, and business partners with respect and dignity. Bringing joy to people through our wine should not come at undue expense to the environment, nor to the people who comprise our team.”