The 3 E’s of Sustainable Wine Making
Environmentally Sound, Economically Feasible, and Socially Equitable are the three E’s that commonly define the sustainability movement. All three elements are intertwined and are not successful without equal attention. With a priority in sustainable wine making, the three E’s have been the mantra of Winemaker Mike Heringer since 2008 and with each decision these three elements are considered to ultimately fill your glass again and again. The three E’s are the driving factors behind the refillable EcoCask program.
The first E of sustainability begins in our vineyards and leads the sustainability movement. “Environmentally Sound” refers to conservation of natural resources and the reduction of impacts on natural eco-systems. In this “E” the top priority is protecting natural habitats, developing eco-friendly products, conserving resources, ensuring air and water quality, reducing pollutants, and reducing waste. At Heringer Estates we take steps to accomplish all of these in order to preserve the land for future generations and create a responsible product to share. At Heringer Estates we have found that farming with the environment in mind not only is a key step in sustainable and responsible farming, it also produces the best wine. Learn more about our vineyard practices here.
The Second “E” is one a farmer naturally has to be very conscientious of — cost. To be “Economically Feasible” is a core value at Heringer Estates and the team is constantly asking, “how can we do more with what we have“. This idea is not a popular one in our modern day world of consumption, but it is essential for long term growth. With every new product or procedure a detailed cost analysis is constructed to guide the process. In the Ecocask program the cask is refillable to save on bottle cost as well as waste.
The third “E” is one that Heringer Estates is very proud to embrace. To be “Socially Equitable” empowers and protects the community and surrounding communities by educating and encouraging residents to take action in improving their health and the surrounding environment. At Heringer Estates every member of the team is educated about sustainability on the farm and are able to contribute.
At Heringer Estates we take the process even farther with the EcoCask Blending Party. At this annual event guests get to learn about wine blending and be a part of the process. They also vote for their favorite blend and the winning blend becomes the next EcoCask for the year.
So what is the EcoCask exactly and what is the program? How is it sustainable?
With conservation in mind the EcoCask is inspired by the European tradition of purchasing wine in bulk at your local market for your weekly family meals. At the end of each week you bring your empty cask to the market and refill. Mike Heringer has brought this concept to California with premium blended wine from certified sustainable vineyards bottled in refillable casks. Each red and white blend is unique and composed of some of the best wines Clarksburg has to offer. The 2L casks are are refillable! Simply bring your empty cask back and exchange it for a new one. Heringer Estates will clean and sanitize the empty cask and use it for the next bottling.
New Additions to the EcoCask Program
In 2019, we expanded on this sustainability driven program with the EcoCask in a can release! The can is the same great cask but in 375 ml recyclable can. The cans are sold in 4 packs or flats of 24. With this new packaging we will be able to ship the EcoCask to any of our permitted states!
We have also updated the program to allow our wine club members to enjoy their club discount, making the EcoCask more accessible and bring some great benefits to you!
Sources and More Information about Sustainable Wine
Written and Illustrated by Creative Director, Cara Gregor