What is sustainability? At Gundlach Bundschu we define sustainability broadly, seeking not only to be responsible stewards of the environment but also to preserve this land for future generations of our family. There is nothing static about this view of environmental sustainability — it requires innovation and action. We believe that preserving the unique ecosystem of Rhinefarm is essential to wine quality, as well as to the health of our family and business.
Our sustainable development in grape growing involves the introduction of beneficial predators, from owls and bluebirds to beetles and mites, and intensive pest monitoring allows us to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides. Cover crops contribute vital diversity and nutrition to the soils, and we utilize registered organic compounds and practices whenever possible. Vigilant management of our acute deficit irrigation program and water reclamation ponds promote conservation, recycling 70% of winery water. We continually seek ways to enhance environmental quality and make the most efficient use of our resources.
We recycle all cardboard, glass, cork, and plastics on the property and use wood chips for weed control, as well as grape pomace to reintroduce nutrients back into ground soil.
In November 2008, two new solar arrays were installed on our property. The first, a 1.3 acre 80kw system, provides 60% of the winery power. The second, a “photovoltaic” system, was the first of its kind in Sonoma County. The panels float on our ponds and provide 100% of the power to our water reclamation system. These two systems reduce our carbon footprint by 99.2 metric tons of CO2.