Being a responsible steward of natural resources is a key vision for Cooper-Garrod farming and winemaking methods. With roots going back over 100 years, the Cooper and Garrod families strive to maintain a healthy and sustainable environment for themselves, employees, neighbors, and visitors. As a family-owned and operated business, they are especially vested in the sustainability of the winery and vineyard, with the goal of a continuing legacy for succeeding generations. To achieve this goal, our practices include:
Soil Management - We’re in the hills and erosion control is a major concern so we mow rather than disk our vineyards. Mowing 2-3 times a year costs more, but the downstream benefits are worth it. Pomace and lees are composted organically, then returned to vineyard or sold commercially. We are currently in a three-year program to enhance our cover crops.
Vineyard Water Management - 29 inches of average annual rain means we dry farm, i.e., no irrigation needed. Recent drought or near-drought years, however, have prompted us to renovate the drip systems we installed for vineyard establishment or to install new ones where they didn’t exist.
Pest Management - Bird boxes, predator poles, and native oaks all attract birds to help us control gophers and other pests without using poisons or insecticides.
Ecosystem Management - 28 acres of our 120 acre property are in vineyard and established wildlife corridors enable wildlife to move freely.
Energy Management - CFLs decrease our energy usage while our solar array provides about 50% of our power requirements.
Solid Waste Reduction and Management - Corks and cardboard are separated at the source (our tasting room) and recycled. Because we’re small (3,000 cases), we don’t have a dedicated cardboard bailer; instead, we arranged with our local Safeway to accept our cardboard.
Neighbors and Community - We want our neighbors and guests to learn what we’re about. To do this we host winemaker-led vineyard and winery tours and docent-led ecotours. In addition, we have also hosted regional workshops on Integrated Pest Management, Water Quality, Energy Efficiency, and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program.