With Earth Day coming soon, we want to take a moment to share how our respect for Mother Earth is reflected in our passion for sustainability.

As ranchers, we intuitively understand that the land must not only be tenable for today, but also for tomorrow—when it will be in the care of our children and grandchildren. And as winemakers, we know that the best quality is cultivated naturally, in the vineyard, as nature intended.

Sustainability is our means of achieving these goals, and our way of loving the land that gives us so much.

The Backstory

Our estate Margarita Vineyard was first planted by the Robert Mondavi family in 1999 as a model of sustainability. As owners of Santa Margarita Ranch, we were partners with the Mondavis. Then, in 2005, we had the opportunity to take over the vineyard lease in 2005. Ancient Peaks Winery was born—and the rest is history.

And as proud inheritors of the Mondavis’ vision for sustainable winegrowing, we grabbed the baton and have taken it even further than we could have originally imagined.

In 2010, our sustainable practices earned SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certification for Margarita Vineyard. The SIP Certification program is one of the most stringent programs of its kind. It is managed by the Vineyard Team, internationally recognized leader in the sustainability movement that happens to be based right here in the Paso Robles wine country.

The Journey

Our sustainability story continues today with numerous practices that make a difference.

For starters, Margarita Vineyard generates more electricity (125%) than it consumes thanks to two solar plants that we installed in 2016—a huge step forward in minimizing our carbon footprint. We have also converted seven large irrigation pumps from propane to electrical, further reducing our footprint.

Water conservation and usage efficiency are always top of mind for us. We employ drip irrigation on a deficit basis, eliminate the waste associated with overhead sprinklers. We use infrared technology to monitor leaf moisture, ensure that irrigation is applied only when necessary.

Biodiversity and wildlife conservation are also top of mind. Santa Margarita Ranch is home to an abundance of beloved wildlife, including bears, boars, deer, bobcats, bald eagles and much more. We take great care to respect and facilitate their presence. Our efforts include wildlife corridors and leaky fences to allow for safe passage across the vineyards. No oak trees were removed in the planting of Margarita Vineyard, and we promote the growth of new oak trees.

We recognize that sustainability is always a journey rather than a destination—there will always be new ways to innovate and improve upon our sustainability efforts, and even small incremental improvements can have a large impact over time.

Join us in raising a glass to Mother Earth this month—and know that we are doing all that we can at Ancient Peaks to treat her with love and kindness.