Each month, we feature a company leading the way in sustainability efforts. This month, we talked with Cliff Lede Vineyards about the importance of making sustainable choices today in order to ensure a fruitful future.
Established in 2002, Cliff Lede Vineyards encompasses sixty acres in the famed Stags Leap District. Completed in 2005, the gravity-flow winery boasts a berry-by-berry sorting system and conical tanks commissioned using a design inspired by the tanks of Château Latour. One tank per vineyard block ensures each lot evolves at its own pace and acres of caves with single-layer barrel storage ensure access to each barrel at all times. We talked to Cliff Lede Vineyards about the importance of making sustainable choices today in order to ensure a fruitful future.
How does your business define sustainability?
Lede Family Wines’ vineyard philosophy is built upon a commitment to enhancing and protecting the valuable land and water with which we grow our wine grapes.
How are you incorporating sustainable practices into your business?
All Vineyards (Cliff Lede Vineyards and FEL Wines):
Cliff Lede Vineyards only:
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Our short-term goals focus on the vintage we are currently experiencing. The goal is to farm the best possible wine grapes with minimal impact to the environment. Longer term, we are looking at developing vineyards that are healthy, use minimal water, and have high soil organic matter content, while enhancing the environment by creating a beautiful landscape.
Where do you think you'll have the biggest impact?
Our viticultural team is very involved in the leadership of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association and stays at the forefront of research and technology for sustainable vineyard practices. The NVG Association educates growers, farmworkers, and landowners on these topics, and at Lede Family Wines, we educate and train our vineyard crew on these topics.
How do you measure your progress?
We compare ourselves to industry standards. One great resource is the California Association of Winegrape Growers Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices workbook as the basis for the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, providing a tool for vintners and growers to assess their practices and learn how to improve their overall sustainability. We have also participated and are certified for both the Napa Green Winery and Napa Green Land programs.
How do retailers factor into your efforts?
We do our best to educate our partners and consumers on our sustainability efforts and to find partners that share similar visions where possible.
Why are sustainable business practices important to the food industry?
The success and longevity of our industry is limited by natural resources. This has become particularly apparent in recent years due to the California drought. Collectively, the choices we make today will impact us greatly in the future.
Why are sustainable business practices important to the consumer?
Consumers are more educated today than ever before, and they want to feel good about the products they purchase.