Our Sustainable Vineyard
We are proud to be one of the first New York State wineries to be certified by the New York Wine and Grape Foundation as a sustainable vineyard. Vinyeard sustainability evaluations are based on 144 action items addressing input reduction, soil health, water protection, resources and waste, energy conservation, ecosystem health, climate resiliency, continuous improvement, and social equity.
We do several things focused on sustainability in our vineyard. Here are just a few:
- Plant under-row cover crops where applicable to reduce runoff, erosion, and leachate. We plant buckwheat in blocks where vigor can be maintained and blue chicory where vigor needs to be reduced. Cover crops reduce erosion, reduce the amount of leachate that exits a vineyard in runoff, and provide a habitat for beneficial predatory insects.
- Plant blue chicory and a wildflower blend on the front acre by Lerch Road. We mow it down after bloom to use as a green compost, then plant a cover crop or ground cover blend. Doing this every year provides a pollinator habitat and reduces our fuel consumption from mowing.
- Mow specific blocks for aesthetic purposes. Everything else is mowed only when laborers need to go in, or when the centers reach the height of the fruit wires. This not only reduces fuel consumption, but also provides a better mulching effect than mowing short grass.
- Compost grape stems and skins from harvest, coffee grounds and food scraps from our cafe, and spent grain from War Horse Brewing production.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
In 2009 we installed two geothermal systems in the Bagg Dare pond to heat and cool our warehouses. A pond-source geothermal system consists of a series of pipes filled with heat-transfer fluid that are submerged in the pond. The pipes are connected to an indoor geothermal heat pump, which uses the pond water as a heat source or heat sink. In the winter, the heat-transfer fluid in the pipes absorbs heat from the warm pond water. The heat is then transferred to the indoor heat pump, which uses it to heat the warehouse. In the summer, the process is reversed. The heat-transfer fluid in the pipes absorbs heat from the warehouse, which is then transferred to the pond water.
Wastewater Treatment System
In 2019 we installed a state of the art waste water treatment system.