As April makes a turn towards Earth Day (April 22), it’s time to toast Santa Ynez Valley’s commitment to sustainable practices and a greener future. After all, from organic wine production to green business practices, there’s certainly a lot being done to make Mother Nature proud.
Toasting Earth Day in Santa Ynez Valley all month (and all year)
One of the many wonderful things about Santa Ynez Valley, of course, it wine production. The other wonderful thing about SYV is that a number of area vineyards approach the tradition with organic techniques. Returning readers will remember the organic wine tutorial featured on our blog last year, but as a recap, the basics that deem wine organic include hands-on, small-production techniques, use of sustainable, organic, and/or bio-dynamic agriculture and an elevated degree of environmental stewardship.
In the Santa Ynez Valley, a number of vintners have made the commitment to such practices. Here are just a few:
Alma Rosa Winery has worked over 40 years to set the benchmark in organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods and environment-friendly commerce. Working over 100 acres of certified organic vineyard, they also support earth-friendly causes such as the reintroduction of peregrine falcons to the Santa Ynez Valley.
Ampelos Cellars – Using bio-dynamic and organic farming practices, Ampelos focuses on a minimalist approach, meaning no yeast, artificial tannins, artificial malolactic bacteria or artificial coloring is added to their wine. They strive for every sip to evoke the beauty of Santa Ynez Valley.
Beckmen Vinyards – Respecting the land, the Beckmens are committed to bio-dynamic farming which naturally builds soil life and vitality while defending against pests and disease. “Our goal,” says Steve Beckman says, “is to always get better and better. Biodynamics allows us to achieve the purest possible expression of our Purisima Mountain Vineyard terroir, which is at the very heart of our wine growing philosophy. Since we’ve gone bio-dynamic, we have produced some of our best wines ever.”
Cimarone – Owners Roger and Priscilla Higgins are dedicated to sustainable farming, especially the prevention of soil erosion and incorporation of biodegradable/natural materials when dealing with pests and mildew issues in the vineyard.
Clos Pepe Vineyard – The vineyard encourages a healthy, diverse vineyard environment by using sheep, chickens, owl boxes and raptor perches and promotes soil health by composting and organic fertilization.
Coquelicot Estate Vineyard – The estate focuses on healthy and balanced soil, water conservation, natural critter and weed management and cover crops.
Foxen Vineyard – Dedicated to sustainably-farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a minimalist approach. Tasting rooms are solar powered.
Refugio Ranch – Using a wholly natural approach to grape growing, Refugio Ranch uses low-yield sustainable farming practices which allow the unique terroir and mico-climate of the area to come alive in their crops.
Sunstone Winery – Sunstone has been committed to growing wine grapes without the use of herbicides, pesticides, or synthetic fungicides since initial planting in 1990. Nick De Luca, winemaker and viticulturist says, “It is really wonderful to work with fruit that has no residual pesticides. I feel that the vines tend to be healthier, and organic farming is certainly the way of the future, as we will have to use a more sustainable approach to agriculture as a way of caring for the world that we live in.”
Stolpman Vineyards – Pursuing highest-quality wine making, Stolpman Vineyards promotes both organic farming and bio-diversity with over 50 acres of land, an organic vegetable farm, olive trees, owl habitats and the use of varying cover crops every year.
The Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, itself, is certainly not immune to the green bug. In fact, the hotel is a certified TripAdvisor Green Leader and as well as the first hotel in Santa Barbara County to complete the Green Business Program.
SYV Marriott’s commitment to preserving the planet continues by:
-taking steps towards energy efficiency and water conservation
-adding bulk soap and shampoo dispensers in guest rooms to reduce plastic bottle waste
-upgrading lighting throughout the hotel
-adding new controls on vending and ice machines to reduce energy use
-monitoring landscaping around the property for water efficiency
-adding new native, water-wise plants
- putting recycling programs in place throughout the hotel
-becoming one of the first Tesla super charging stations in the nation
If you happen to be in Santa Ynez Valley this month, make plans to join these Earth Day events:
Earth Day Festival, April 26-27, Alameda Park, Santa Barbara
The 1st Annual Earth Day includes a pop-up farm-to-table dinner in the park, the longest-running public Green Car Show in the U.S. including the BMWi3 and Tesla Model S, free bike valet and bike tune-ups and music headliner Hot Buttered Rum on Saturday, April 26th.
Earth Day Celebration, April 26, Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden
The perfect day to appreciate Mother Earth, join the garden for family fun and rock painting – perfect for doorstops, gifts, paperweights and garden décor.
Celebrate Earth Day this year with a green stay at Santa Ynez Valley Marriott! Fully equipped to make your stay in the Santa Ynez Valley as relaxing (and green) as possible, we invite you sit back and relax. Plan a bike tour of the area by booking our Cycling Package or book a Sustainable Wine Vine Tour complete with behind-the-scene tours of four organic vineyards and an organic, gourmet picnic lunch.