IN OUR VINEYARDS
Recognized not only as a pioneer of vinifera grape growing in Washington State's Columbia Valley, Chateau Ste. Michelle is acknowledged as a leader in sustainability.
Some of the winery's current sustainable practices include reducing soil erosion through the planting of beneficial cover crops; safe, controlled spraying using soft pesticides (such as biodegradable oils, soaps, and plant extracts), and conducting and participating in ongoing research on environmentally-friendly methods of pest control. Chateau Ste. Michelle has been aggressively pursuing the goal of 100% sustainability in its Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards.
LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology) is a non-profit organization that offers third-party sustainable certification through the International Organization for Biological Control, which promotes the use of sustainable, environmentally safe, economically feasible and socially acceptable control methods. For more information on LIVE visit www.liveinc.org.
Salmon-Safe is a nonprofit devoted to restoring agricultural and urban watershed so that salmon can spawn and thrive. Vineyards that meet the program's rigorous standards earn certification and are able to use the Salmon-Safe label. The Salmon-Safe label on a bottle of wine means the grapes used in that wine were grown using healthy practices that keep Pacific Northwest rivers clean enough for native salmon to spawn and thrive. For more information on Salmon Safe visit www.salmonsafe.org.
The winery has added the LIVE and Salmon Safe certification on its Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate single vineyard wine labels starting with the 2009 vintage.
CONSERVATION IN OUR WINERY
Chateau Ste. Michelle continually works to exercise sustainable practices in the winery as well. Conservation efforts include reduction of energy consumption, water conservation and solid waste reduction and management. Chateau Ste. Michelle is a Washington state certified EnviroStar business.
Replacement of certain lighting fixtures, compressor equipment, waste pond aeration pumps, and refrigeration units with newer, higher-efficiency models has helped to reduce winery electrical and natural gas energy consumption. In 2011, Chateau Ste. Michelle decreased its electrical usage 9.5% over 2010.
In January 2010, an enhanced heat exchanger was introduced in the cellar. As wine comes from cool temperatures in tanks, the heat exchanger works to warm up the wine prior to bottling. The water used to warm the wine is re-circulated, thus reducing water consumption from the previous system by almost 100%, and decreasing natural gas consumption as well.
Waste Reduction and Management:
The winery has implemented a wide range of winery recycling programs for materials such as glass, paper, cardboard, pallets, stretch wrap, cell phones, batteries and fluorescent bulbs. In 2011, Chateau Ste. Michelle recycled 128 tons of glass, metal, plastic, wood, paper, and cardboard - up from 102 tons in 2010.