I am one of eight students participating in this Sustainability and Community program, which involves various trips and field work that challenge us to apply our preexisting and newly gained knowledge from our time here. One of these trips included an afternoon at Spier Winery on Thursday. Our trip ended with a lovely picnic on the scenic property of the winery; however, we got a glimpse of the awesome measures the winery is taking toward sustainability before returning to the side only viewed by tourists.
One of the most noticeable features of Spier’s sustainability is how its efforts are barely noticeable at all to the public eye. The only way to learn about and recognize the winery’s environmental efforts is through personal interest in the topic. One way to do so through a segway tour offered by the hotel at the winery. Visitors are able to tour at their own pace behind the scenes and learn about the initiatives of the business.
The entire winery was absolutely beautiful, and the mountains could be seen off in the distance past the multitude of vineyards and fields. I won’t bore you too much with the green details of the winery, but if you’re interested please read on!
Our exploration began with a stop at the recycling center. Not only does the winery push recycling, it also began to use less glass when creating its wine bottles. This leads to less waste and a decreased carbon footprint during transport of its products. The winery also asks its suppliers to take their packaging back with them after deliveries, causing the suppliers to either use reuse packaging or reconsider the amount originally used. In addition to the recycling initiative, the winery has its own waste management system, which is a fraction of the cost of connecting to the public system.
Its important to keep in mind that becoming organically certified is not as easy as just receiving a sticker for being green. Its a long application and survey process, but Spier has proven to be deserving of the certification. No pesticides are used on any of its crops, and the winery also farms cattle and chickens allowing them to serve a majority of local food.
The winery gives back to the surrounding community through allowing local artists to sell their work throughout Spier and allowing a local Waldorf School, which is a Montessori-style nature-based school, to operate on its property.
Spier Winery is both a beautiful destination and a perfect example of sustainability and contribution to community, undoubtedly making it stand out from the many other wineries and vineyards in the area.