How Sustainability Has Always Been Part of One of Napa Valley’s Most Prestigious Wineries

How Sustainability Has Always Been Part of One of Napa Valley’s Most Prestigious Wineries

Source Credit: This article originally appeared on Tatler Asia by Tatler Asia. Read the original article - https://www.tatlerasia.com/dining/drinks/sustainability-harlan-estate-napa-valley-winery

Cultivating sustainability

Over the years, Levy and Empting have implemented various techniques to achieve sustainability. The estate is mainly dry farmed, which conserves water (California faces recurring droughts) and also improves fruit quality. It also practices organic and biodynamic viticulture, which renders chemical intervention unnecessary. For example, last year, the property didn’t have to spray the vineyard for mildew, which Empting notes are a significant accomplishment.

“All these things help us not use up resources that we don’t need to use in order to really transparently reflect the place,” he continues.

Notably, the viticultural plan at Harlan goes beyond the tightly delineated lines of organic or biodynamic farming. Harlan stands at the vanguard of regenerative agriculture using cover crop management and no-till farming to not only improve the soil quality, but also capturing carbon in the soil.

“Focusing on soil carbon became a pillar in our evolution about 12 or 13 years ago,” he says, recalling that an increase of soil carbon by one per cent can increase the water-holding capacity by 16,000 litres per hectare. “We ensure that the life in the soil will be sustained through the summer months and be able to nourish the vines without any need for compost and things of that nature.”

The sustainability drive continues in the cellar. Here, fermentation starts on its own and saves energy. “When you’re not inoculating with yeast, you’re not heating a tank, so you’re not wasting energy. But then because you don’t heat, you also don’t waste energy cooling,” Empting points out.

The seasoned winemaker chalks up the regenerative farming practices to ‘building a relationship with the land,’ a philosophy that sits at the heart of Harlan Estate. 

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Source Credit: This article originally appeared on Tatler Asia by Tatler Asia. Read the original article - https://www.tatlerasia.com/dining/drinks/sustainability-harlan-estate-napa-valley-winery