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Sustainability

In its purest form sustainability is the act of living and doing business in ways that do not deplete the natural environment and its precious resources.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is the act of incorporating environmental responsibility, social equity and economic viability in all aspects of the winemaking process in order to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the fruits of the land as we enjoy them today. In its purest form sustainability is the act of living and doing business in ways that do not deplete the natural environment and its precious resources.

Why is it important?

With the ever-rising threat of global warming and increasing fossil fuel consumption around the world it is more important now than ever before to conduct business in a sustainable manner. At Castoro Cellars we believe that every little bit helps and every positive change makes a difference that can be felt across the world.  For this reason, Castoro Cellars has been at the forefront of sustainable farming and winemaking in Paso Robles for nearly 30 years.

Recycling:

As a large production facility, Castoro Cellars generates large amounts of waste and we understand the importance of diverting as much of this waste as possible from landfills through recycling and reusing as much of it as we can. Throughout our facility we have recycling containers for glass, cardboard, paper, plastics and metals. All of our employees are strongly encouraged to reuse and recycle, as it is a fundamental aspect of how we do business at Castoro Cellars. In our office we encourage the use of both sides of any paper before it is recycled and because of this we have dramatically decreased the amount of paper we use. As we continue to recycle and reuse we are constantly searching for ways to do more and are always open to suggestions.

Solar Power at Castoro Cellars:

Solar Panels:

At Castoro Cellars we understand the importance of finding alternative energy sources that will help us lessen our impact on the natural environment. In 2006 Castoro Cellars installed 42 solar panels at our Cobble Creek vineyard and installed an even larger solar panel system on the roof of our events room located beside the tasting room in Templeton. In 2012 an addtional solar array was installed at our Dos Vinas vineyard to offset the energy needed to power two wells and a home that occupy the property.  Most recently in 2015 our largest installation to date was installed with an annual production of 1,042,403 kWh. The power generated from these panels allows us to minimize our impact on the environment and support a system we believe to be necessary for a sustainable future. Solar energy is clean, requires no fossil fuels, creates no carbon emissions, and requires very little maintenance or upkeep. For these reasons, we plan to continue installing more solar panels in the future. For a full description of all of our solar arrays click HERE

Sun Powered Summer Concert Series:

At Castoro Cellars our summer concert series is run completely on solar power provided by a mobile solar generator. This generator is provided by our friends at Mobile Solar Power and allows us to run our concert series completely off the grid. The power provided by the generator not only lowers our environmental impact but also provides reliable clean power and a cleaner sound without interference or electronic buzzing. The mobile solar generator is equipped with photovoltaic panels on the roof, which are used to charge the batteries located within the unit. With the battery pack fully charged we are able to use clean energy through the night and into the day. For more information on mobile solar power please feel free to visit mobilesolarpower.net.

Bottled water use:

In 2005 Castoro Cellars made the decision to stop selling bottled water at the tasting room and replaced the bottled water with free purified water dispensers. Plastic bottle production in the United States annually requires about 17.6 million barrels of oil and worldwide bottling of water uses about 2.7 million tons of plastic a year. In the United States about 86% of empty water bottles end up in land fills instead of recycling facilities. Due to these reasons, Castoro has decided to eliminate the company’s impact on bottled water consumption and by providing free purified water has given customers a safe, free alternative to bottled water.

Sustainable Agriculture at Castoro:

What is Sustainable Agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs. It promotes the stewardship of both natural and human resources. The goal of sustainable agriculture is to integrate environmentally sound practices, social equity and economic feasibility into decision making on the whole farm level.

Organically grown and SIP Certified vineyards at Castoro:

Castoro Cellars has over 350 acres of "Certified Organic" estate grown vineyards (with additional acres pending), by the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in compliance with USDA standards. The certification covers the west side Cobble Creek vineyard, Whale Rock vineyard, Stone's Throw and a portion of the Blind Faith estate vineyard. In order to be certified organic the vineyards must be farmed without the use pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. (All remaining vineyards are SIP certified). One of the alternatives to pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used by Castoro is the use of cover crops. A cover crop is a non- economic crop that is grown in vineyard middles and occasionally in vine rows. Cover crops can have stabilizing effects on the agro ecosystem by holding soil and nutrients in place, conserving soil moisture with mowed or standing dead mulches, and by increasing the water infiltration rate and soil water holding capacity. Another alternative used to manage organic vineyards is the use of beneficial predatory insects such as lace wings and predatory mites. These insects pose no threats to the vineyard and help keep down the population of undesired pests that can damage the vines or the grapes.

SIP Certified

Why Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certification ?

  • SIP Certification is available to growers and wineries throughout California.
  • SIP looks at the whole farm verifying the farmers commitment to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and business sustainability.
  • SIP is a practice and performance based program – every requirement and management enhancement has to do with practices and is measurable, therefore auditable.
  • SIP has a high threshold for eligibility – not every grower can qualify.
  • SIP prohibits the use of high risk pesticides (organophosphates, groundwater contaminants, just to name a few).
  • A bottle of wine can bear the SIP Seal, given it has undergone a chain of custody audit confirming it is made with at least 85% SIP Certified fruit. This provides consumers and the trade a clear indication of your commitment to sustainable practices, providing another reason for a consumer to buy your wine.