News & Events > Articles
> Cultivating a Green Legacy

By Beth Novak Milliken, Excerpt from the 2008 Newsletter

We are extremely excited that so much attention is now being given to climate change and our impact on our natural environment. Spottswoode’s dedication to being green began many years ago, and we are elated that many more people and businesses are adopting environmentally sensitive practices!

Here at Spottswoode, our commitment to being environmentally responsible stewards of our estate began in 1985. Our winemaker and vineyard manager at that time, Tony Soter, had a great interest in organic farming and introduced the notion to my mother, Mary Novak, who agreed to pursue it. Since then, our enthusiasm for and attention to environmental responsibility has only increased. In 1992 we were certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and today we find ourselves constantly reviewing and improving our practices, always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to farm sustainably.

How Green is Green?

One of our more venturesome additions came in the form of energy use: we went solar! Our production facility and many aspects of the Spottswoode estate, from our vineyard well pumps to the tractor shed and pool and electric car, are 100% powered by solar energy. We are thrilled about this renewable source of energy, but that’s only one part of our conservation efforts. We also use energy-saving lightbulbs, keep our heaters and air conditioners at lower and higher settings (respectively), fuel our tractors with bio-diesel, recycle all glass, cardboard and plastic, ship our wine in recycled containers (we eliminated all use of Styrofoam), and use 100% recycled paper for all, from printed materials to paper towels!

It is amazing to consider how a leap of faith into organic farming more than 20 years ago has led us down this path to environmental stewardship. As a family-owned winery, we have a vested interest in farming our land and stewarding our environment with an eye to the future. Over the years we’ve found our “greening” to be extremely gratifying, and we hope our efforts inspire others to follow suit.