Sustainability in our Anderson Valley Vineyards

The Lazy Creek ranch  — our Anderson Valley vineyards, farmland and the entire surrounding environment — has been sustainably farmed since its beginnings more than 40 years ago. Our commitment doesn’t stop with the soil – in 2014, we achieved Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery status from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA). Owner Rhonda Carano and her team are firm believers in preserving the land for future generations, and are committed to continuing sustainable practices at Lazy Creek, from vineyard to bottle.

The expansion of our winery production facility provided the perfect opportunity to implement new goals for sustainability and update existing ones in order to achieve this certification, including:

Ecosystem Management
The winery is immediately adjacent to Lazy Creek, which joins the Navarro River, a major salmon habitat. We minimize impact on our watershed by leaving large riparian buffers around our creeks, keeping grapes and buildings well away from the edges, as well as preserving a wide swath of trees and undergrowth around the creek banks. This not only reduces sedimentation in the creeks, it also provides habitat for the local wildlife – deer, raccoons, wild pigs, herons, river otters, turtles, wild turkeys and even mountain lions and bears! Landscaping around the tasting room utilizes drought tolerant plants, which also provides a great hummingbird and butterfly habitat.

Energy Management
Our  winery production facility was built with improved energy management in mind – a big improvement over our old, drafty barn! The cave barrel storage allows us to maintain all our aging wine in a passively cooled environment that requires no air conditioning to regulate the temperature. Additionally, all fermenting tanks are now inside where they are kept cool with no exposure to the hot sun.

Winery Water Conservation and Water Quality
With the ongoing drought showing little signs of abating, we have been particularly focused on water conservation. All of our crush equipment is under a roof, significantly reducing the amount of sun-dried grape material that requires pressure washing to remove. Our new winery facility also uses a Bioreactor waste water process system which takes used runoff, sends it through the Bioreactor, effectively cleaning the water and then using it for irrigation in our vineyards and landscaping, doubling the use of every gallon of water.

Air Quality
As Lazy Creek Vineyards is located in a fairly remote area of Anderson Valley, many of our employees drive significant distances to and from work every day. The emissions from this commute add up over the course of a year, so we encourage employees to carpool whenever possible. Also, during the non-harvest season, employees work four days a week to cut back on gas usage and commute time. Another major air quality concern is dust from the farm roads on the ranch. We maintain a 5 mph rule and use a surface sealant on all farm roads to keep dust to a minimum.

Lazy Creek Vineyards will continue to preserve, restore and enhance our Anderson Valley vineyards and rich agricultural lands by being leaders in sustainable farming practices for future generations.