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Andy Schweiger
July 8, 2016 | Andy Schweiger

It's Easy Being Green!

It's not that easy being green;
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves.
When I think it could be nicer being red, or yellow or gold-
or something much more colorful like that.

It's not easy being green.
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things.
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water-
or stars in the sky.

But green's the color of Spring.
And green can be cool and friendly-like.
And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder? Why Wonder, I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.

  --"It's Not Easy Being Green", Kermit the Frog

Shortly after the completion of the 2015 Harvest, we received a long awaited piece of mail...our official declaration as a "Napa Green Business". Now, we have been practicing Sustainable Farming since Day One (back in the 70's!) but this distinction came after many years of evaluating EVERYTHING we do here at Schweiger Vineyards. Justin Schuchardt and I looked at every facet of daily operations and thought, "how can we be more while using less..." ...some of the changes we have made in the past few years came in surprising forms...these include:

  • Looking at every light bulb in the facility...where can we switch to compact flourescent or LED? Installing motion detectors so lights get turned off in unoccupied rooms. Schweiger Vineyards is already 110% solar powered, but how can we cut consumption further and send more green electricity to the grid for others to use.
  • Installing water meters to different operations points. We now monitor how much water is being used for production, the office, the tasting room, landscaping, and farm operations. If a number is out of norms, we know where specifically to check for leaks or reevaluate what we're doing.
  • Reduce water and chemical use in the winery: We had recently purchased a steamer for the sanitization of our barrels. Justin and I developed a procedure for cleaning and sanitizing our tanks with steam. Previously we were following the industry norm of using about 140 gallons of water per tank plus the use of caustic chemicals to clean and sanitize. Today we use about 2 gallons of water per tank. Now we are saving significant water and the bacteria in our leach field is happier too!
  • Received certification from the State Water Board. Any stormwater runoff from our property is certified free of polutants and we monitor several rainfalls throughout the year.
  • many many, more nitty gritty details far too boring to elaborate on.

Personally, I think the most exciting thing about this is that it continues to set all of us here at Schweiger Vineyards apart as pioneers. As of today, less than 15% of Napa Wineries have received this certification and we are presently the only one in the Spring Mountain District. Furthermore, we did it all in house. Larger, corporate wineries hire consultants to list the changes to make and hire contractors to make the changes. This was a quest that Justin and I took on personally an learned as we did it. As a result, the changes are perosnal and heartfelt...not changes for the sake of change but change for the purpose of being more responsible stewards of this land that God has blessed us with.

We encourage you to take a moment on your next visit here to take a moment to just relax, turn off your cell phone and look at the natural beauty surrounding you. Take in a deep breath of that fresh mountain air, watch the bluebirds flying in and out of the birdhouses (keeping our vineyard insect and insecticide free), play with our winery dogs, and take a sip of our truly exceptional wines that are uniquely root to glass products.


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