The Sonoma County Harvest Fair has named Francis Ford Coppola Winery winner of the 2017 Sustainable Producer/Maker award.
For more than 40 years, the Coppola family has produced wine through environmentally responsible practices. The winery’s sustainability approach includes seeking innovative ways to improve efficiency, minimize impacts on the environment and foster a nurturing habitat for wildlife, staff and the public.
Their integrated pest management system uses alternative methods for pest control. Diversified plant species are incorporated into the soils through cover crop trials. Two beehives on the property are host to over 10,000 pollinators. Barn owls are encouraged to live among the vines in owl boxes and perches to help protect the land from gophers and encourage natural mammalian pest control. These farming practices are continually benefiting the Russian River watershed fish habitat. Coppola was certified with Fish Friendly Farming through the California Land Stewardship Institute in 2007.
Helping to support the development of renewable energy, Francis Ford Coppola Winery has been an EPA Green Power Partner since 2015 and was certified with the Bay Area Green Business Program in 2012. The winery sources 36 percent of its electricity use from renewable sources like geothermal and wine power. The production facility uses sustainable materials where possible and works with suppliers to reuse packaging and reduce waste. Renewable, natural corks are used on the bottling line because they are biodegradable, and recyclable, and therefore the winery is a big advocate for the Cork Quality Council. Wine bottles and corrugated wine boxes are made using a portion of recycled materials, when possible. Since 2012, the winery has distributed more than 7,000 reusable kegs for wine on tap programs, an emerging trend in alternative packaging.
Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s president and director of winemaking, said, “Sustainability is about being a steward of the land as well as the community, and enhancing the lives around us. It’s our commitment to preserve the land for future generations so that our children and grandchildren have the opportunity to embrace this beautiful land.”