Savoring Sustainability: Earth Day 2024

Explore how our commitment to organic, regenerative, and sustainable practices creates exceptional wines while nurturing the land that nurtures us.

In industries like winemaking, we're always in tune with our surroundings. It makes sense, right? We often worry about whether our vines will produce good grapes and work hard to improve those chances. We visit the vineyard daily, especially now when the leaves are just starting to form. But our care goes beyond the vines. Our vineyard is its own world—50 acres teeming with insects, plants, and wildlife, all crucial to our goal of growing the best possible wines.

On a recent visit, Aaron, our longtime winemaker, guided Carmen, Maddie, and me, along with our two dogs, Maggie and Lotti, through the rows of bright green vines, as fresh as a meadow. We’ve been S.I.P. certified for quite some time and have practiced organic farming since 2019. This year, we've also adopted regenerative farming practices, and the results are visible. The overgrown plants between each row help bring nitrogen to the topsoil and provide a home for beneficial insects and microorganisms that protect our vines from pests. We hope this will continue to allow us to avoid using herbicides and sprays, which has so far been very effective in keeping our vines disease-free.

Wine, like most things we eat and drink, is the final product of a series of processes that starts on a farm. We’re so proud of the work we’ve done on our vineyard to keep our grapes clean—unadulterated, chemical-free, and natural. The grapes we can't grow ourselves are always sourced from vineyards with similar standards.

In the winery, we maintain the same commitment to minimal intervention that we display in the vineyard, avoiding harsh winemaking techniques and additives. We strive to let the naturally developed flavors from the vineyard shine through in all our wines.

In this way, we place a lot of trust in nature—we understand that our wines can only be as good as the vineyard grows them. Fortunately, we have been blessed with almost ten years of fantastic vintages from our vineyard. The health of the vineyard, which is part of a larger discussion about the health of our Earth, depends on everyone doing their part to take care of it. Here are some things that we’re particularly proud of:

Drinking Local: Our business model, involving our outposts in California, has allowed us to increase direct sales to consumers over the years. This reduces our reliance on global shipping, which decreases our environmental impact. We have shifted from on-demand shipping to organized bi-weekly deliveries using our fully loaded trucks, ensuring that every trip is fully utilized. Drinking locally made wines supports the California wine industry and significantly reduces the environmental impact compared to importing European wines. It’s a responsible choice!

Wines on Tap: We’ve continued to sell wines on tap at our outposts, which eliminates the need for single-use packaging—no glass bottles, labels, or closures. Last year alone, we saved more than 5,000 bottles by serving our wines this way.

Recycling: We recycle the bottles used in our tasting room, some of which we even repurpose into candles. We also recycle grape waste. This year, we delivered an entire bin of Pinot Gris pomace (a by-product of Neighborhood Winery’s Dawn) to Benny Boy Brewing. They transformed it into a brand new beverage by fermenting apple juice atop it to create ‘Orchard Orange.' Additionally, we save all our pomace to send to a local farm, where it's turned into animal feed and compost.

Cellar Hand: This feels like an appropriate time to soft launch Cellar Hand, a restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, independent of Pali, that we’ve been working towards opening for a few years now. Well, we’re getting close with an expected opening in late spring/early summer. Led by our executive chef Logan Kendall, who already transformed our food program in Little Italy, our main focus is on hyper-locally grown produce. It’s a luxury in California that more often than not, someone is growing what you need, really well, really close by. In addition to the produce, Logan is also sourcing seafood directly from the docks, caught off the California/Baja coast—no middlemen, just us and the fishermen. Our menu will utilize every part of our ingredients with a goal of minimal waste. If you’re interested, click here to follow Cellar Hand on Instagram and be the first to have access to reservations once they’re up!

As you can see, our commitment to sustainability extends from the vineyard to the glass. Every step we take is guided by a deep respect for nature and a responsibility to nurture the land that nurtures us. By choosing regenerative practices, recycling resources, and reducing waste, we not only create exceptional wines but also contribute to the health of our planet.

We invite you to experience this harmony between nature and winemaking firsthand. Join us on a vineyard tour to see the beauty of our efforts in action and taste our wines. Sign up today and become part of a community dedicated to making a difference—one sip at a time. Reserve via Tock.