Francis Ford Coppola Winery Honored as Sustainability Leader in Wine Industry

Geyserville Winery named 2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Sustainable Producer/Maker

For over forty years, the Coppola family has been committed to producing quality 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. The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is pleased to honor Francis Ford Coppola Winery with the 2017 Sustainable Producer/Maker Award.

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“I’m thrilled to receive this award. Sustainability is such an important part of our business and our team has put so much dedication and hard work into accomplishing our goals,” says Corey Beck, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s President & Director of Winemaking. “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.”

As one of the leading California sustainable wineries, Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s green business practices are the cornerstone to its success. Estate vineyards are farmed using innovative water conservation practices such as aerial imagery, weather stations, soil monitoring probes and drip irrigation. Each drop of water used by the winemaking facility is captured, cleaned and recycled for vineyard irrigation. The winery’s farming practices have been certified through the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance (CSWA) since 2012 and promote biodiversity in the vineyard. CSWA along with other area sustainability partners recently bestowed the Leader Award upon Francis Ford Coppola Winery, one of only four recipients of the prestigious California Green Medal Awards.

Their integrated pest management system utilizes alternative methods for pest control. Diversified plant species are incorporated into the soils through cover crop trials. Two bee hives on the property are host to over 10,000 pollinators. Barn owls are encouraged to live amongst 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.

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Francis Ford Coppola Winery knows that having the right team on board, and investing in their success, is critical to producing great wine. Their sustainability department puts forth focus on greening efforts throughout the year, always looking for ways to improve or innovate. In addition to providing training opportunities for staff, their volunteer “Green Team” meets regularly to identify new ways the company can innovate and improve their footprint.

These sustainable growing practices are the cornerstone of producing award winning wines year after year. Caring for the land has not only been a top priority for the Coppola estate, but area growers are encouraged to farm sustainably.

“Our sustainability efforts have been an anchor initiative in our business for decades. Each year we make more progress. Last year, we made the commitment to source 100% sustainability certified grapes by 2019. We offer our growers advice on innovative vineyard techniques and financial assistance in helping them achieve certification,” Beck says.

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% of their electricity use from renewable sources like geothermal and wine power.

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The wine production facility uses sustainable materials wherever 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 over 7,000 reusable kegs for wine on tap programs, an emerging trend in alternative packaging.

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is proud to honor Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s achievements in sustainability with this year’s Sustainable Producer/Maker award. A ceremony and dinner will be held Sunday, October 1 at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. The celebration is open to the public with a limited number of tickets available at HarvestFair.org or at the Harvest Fair Box Office located at 1350 Bennett Valley Road in Santa Rosa.

The 2017 Sonoma County Harvest Fair public tasting is October 6-8 at the Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds. For tickets or more information, visit HarvestFair.org or call (707) 545-4200 or find “Sonoma County Harvest Fair” on Facebook.

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