Sustainability Strategies for Your Winery

Helping your winery work toward being more “green” and sustainable while also not breaking​ the bank can be a difficult balance.

Happy Valley Winery co-owner Barb Christ and Joey Dahlin, the general manager at Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria in Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona, shared ideas on how they have found ways to be sustainable and financially efficient.

Happy Valley​ Winery​ —​ located in State College, Pennsylvania ​—​ ​has​ solar power, powering both the winery production area and storage as well as the tasting room.

​”​About 80% of ​our usage is covered by the solar power we generate​,” Christ said.​ “Most of our vineyard tools are battery and can be plugged in to charge.​”

One such tool is an electric golf cart ​they use to go through the vineyard.

Last year, ​Merkin started kegging ​its wine​.

“If a guest wants to enjoy a glass or taste at the restaurant​,​ we serve it out of our wine tap system and not from a bottle​,” Dahlin said​. ​”​Less waste of glass bottles. If any glass bottles are used, we make sure to recycle them.​”​

​Happy Valley compost​s​ all the waste from wine production.

​”​This gets added to yard waste and manure​,” Christ explained.​ “Eventually the compost goes back out onto the vineyard as fertilizer.​”​

​Other sustainability tips from Happy Valley:​

  • We recycle as much as possible including plastic metal paper cardboard etc.
  • We built very energy-efficient buildings. With many windows in the tasting room, we have very few lights required most days to do business.
  • We use local products wherever possible even if the cost is higher. Bottles, glasses and many other items.
  • We use IPM practices in the vineyard and spray as few pesticides as possible.

​Christ even shared what she thinks may be the most practical, yet smallest environmental​ impact the winery does.

​”Maybe the smallest of our practice is to use a clothesline to dry the laundry from the winery/ tasting room,” she said.

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