Sustainability is a corner stone of wine production at Lava Cap Winery. Our program of wise land use starts in the vineyard, where Vineyard Manager and Owner, Charlie Jones utilizes practices that not only leave the environment better than we found it, but create world class grape growing conditions.
Sustainable Vineyard Practices
- Certified Fish Friendly Farm. (A sustainability certification program that is awarded to farms practicing sustainable practices around fisheries and water sources)
- 100% drip irrigation on all of Lava Cap’s 80 acre estate
- We use compost and mulch to achieve proper nitrogen levels. We do not fertilize our vineyards with synthetic fertilizers.
- Riparian and forested areas are left to provide habitat for animals such as deer, bear, and hawks.
- Use of owl boxes for rodent control. No poisons ever!
- All waste water from the winery is used in the vineyard.
- Vineyards are never tilled; this reduces any chance of siltation in the creeks and rivers below.
- Use of In house weather station to scientifically forecast powdery mildew pressure. This allows us to reduce tractor pollution, man hours, and potential unnecessary application of mildew sprays.
Sustainable Winery Practices
- Barrel cleaning is processed with steam instead of water. This saves thousands of gallons of water a year.
- All glass, cardboard, and plastic waste generated at the winery is 100% recycled.
- All wastewater from the winery is collected and used in the vineyard.
- All by products of fermentation (skin, seeds, and pulp from grapes) are spread in the vineyard as fertilizer.
- Our buildings have heavy insulated walls to keep cool. At night, louvers open that draw cool air in, this allows us to save energy on air conditioning and cooling.
- All oak barrels are repurposed to other industries or gardeners.
- Use of LED and zone lighting to prevent the need for high energy use.
A little about fish Friendly Farming
Lava Cap’s Fish Friendly Farming® certification was achieved in 2012, under Charlie’s direction. This certification is for agricultural properties that are managed to restore fish and wildlife habitat and improve water quality (e.g., no run-off into ponds or creeks). Be sure to look for the Fish Friendly Farming sign hanging on one of our fence posts when you visit.
Climate and Soils of El Dorado County Vineyards
Growing Grapes in El Dorado County PDF (2.66 MB)