Chamisal Vineyards is the second winery to achieve SIP Certified. The program has certified vineyards since 2008, and expanded its independent, third-party verification scope to include wineries in 2016. We recently spoke with Fintan du Fresne, General Manager and Winemaker at Chamisal Vineyards, about how sustainability fits into their company.
The Chamisal vineyard has been in the program since 2010 and the brand continues to message its sustainable practices with the SIP Certified seal on the wine label, at the tasting room, and on case boxes. As du Fresne says, “…we feature our SIP certification pretty much everywhere.”
When asked how sustainability is incorporated into the Chamisal company culture, du Frense confessed that it can be challenging. Sustainability is complex and educating staff on its nuanced practices requires regular training. To help develop these practices, Chamisal provides clear guidelines. Over time, the sustainable option becomes the default.
In taking sustainability to the winery level, du Fresne feels that it was a good opportunity to look at all of their practices and see what areas could be improved. “We were already doing most of the key practices but it’s been great to go further with things like eliminating plastic bottles at the winery, improving our recycling, and composting.”
The winery certification process rigorously reviews a number of factors, including energy efficiency, water use, glass and paper recycling, and even materials used in packaging and collateral marketing materials. As with the vineyard certification, the elements of social equity and financial sustainability are also taken into account. Niner Wine Estates became the first SIP Certified Winery in the fall of 2016 and the program is proud to have Chamisal Vineyards as the second to achieve certification.
In the end, Chamisal Vineyards believes in sustainability, “We are SIP Certified because it’s the right thing to do.”