All our electric power comes from our solar panels. These panels generate 50kW and during a sunny day we pump excess power into the electric grid, even powering our neighbors. When the sun goes down, we take our power back from the grid. The system is self-sustaining and we have not paid a significant electric bill in years. The solar farm generates no noise, harms no creatures, and really requires no maintenance, other than a wash once a year. No carbon footprint. No fossil fuel usage. Green. Beautiful.
Our winery is located in a pristine part of New Jersey. This area has always been farmland. Thanks to state initiatives, the development rights of much of land in this area has been deeded to keep it as preserved farmland forever. We are proud to have our land part of this program to preserve disappearing farmland from development into houses and condos. Because of our responsibility to preserve this land for future generations, the winery was built using unique technology. Thanks to the use of the portable GOfermentor, our winery has no stainless-steel tanks or piping. At harvest, we simply set up the GOfermentors inside our beautiful winery building, which used to be a horse stable. When the fermentations are done, we fold them up and stack them away. The aging room is a converted horse stall. From the outside you can still envision horses trotting out of the stable.
Since, we use minimal water for washing (the odd pump or hose), the small existing wells are more than sufficient. As a consequence of not washing or using detergents – we generate no waste water – so we do not need an unsightly water treatment plant.
The spent grape skins (pomace) is taken to the vineyard and spread as fertilizer. We apply no other fertilizers or soil treatment.
In the vineyard, we strive to minimize chemical usage. We use no herbicides to control weeds. Instead, we use a machine that we obtained from Australia which uses superheated steam to kill weeds. We heavily modified this machine so that is can be driven down the vineyard rows. Arms automatically swing in and out steaming the weeds between each vine. Done on a weekly basis, this keeps the weed growth down.
Keeping with our environmental responsibility we do not use pesticides. Instead we inspect and remove infestations by hand. Japanese beetle traps help during peak pest seasons.
Unfortunately, fungus control is essential to grape growing. We try to minimize the usage of fungicides by using a vineyard weather monitor to track humidity and climatic conditions. Certain conditions trigger fungal infections, and we only spray when these are indicated. We try to use gentle and well established non-systemic chemicals such as sulfur.