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Sustainability at O'Brien Estate

 


Napa Green Certified Winery

We are very proud to recently become a Napa Green Certified Winery. Napa Green is a comprehensive sustainability certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley. Soil-to-bottle stewardship includes protecting and restoring the Napa River watershed; saving energy and water; reducing waste and carbon footprint; and being conscientious employers and good neighbors.

Independent, third-party certification of farms and winemaking facilities makes Napa Green one of the most rigorous sustainability accreditations the wine industry offers.

 


Hoo Guards the Vineyard?

Here at O'Brien Estate Winery, barn owls play a big part in the production of our world-class wines. As a natural pest-control system throughout the vineyard, the residents of our 5 owl barns protect the vines (and more specifically the root system) with their natural instinct: they keep the rodent population to a minimum. This natural defense system keeps the vines strong and our wines even more delicious.

Watch our short video below to see one of our unsung employees.

 


A Cat's Life?

The winery lifestyle seems to agree with our cats as much as our owls. The O'Brien Estate cats wander the vineyard, live well, hunt if they choose and have turned themselves into winery ambassadors. Look for all three of them on your visit as they greet guests upon arrival, spend their days basking in the warm sun and sometimes work the night shift as a key part of our rodent control program.

 


All the buzz . . .

Beekeeper Rob Keller moves bees who left winery wall into new home!

Honey bees are important because they provide about one-sixth of pollination to agricultural crops and many wild plants requiring animal pollination, although most cultivated grape vines are hermaphroditic and do not require pollination.  We are fortunate to have had a bee colony living inside one of the winery walls for the last 10 years. This is the third group of bees that has split off.

Rob Keller gently removes bees from crossarms into new hive without getting stung!

Don’t be scared of honey bees. Unlike yellow jackets or wasps that can keep stinging, Honey Bees die after they sting, so stinging is reserved for self-preservation when their hive/honey is threatened. When honey bees leave a hive, whey will swarm together and find a resting place together before they move into a new hive.

 


Our Tesla Charging Station and Our Solar Panels

 

  • Napa Green Certified Winery
  • Organic vegetable garden for farm-to-table member events
  • Natural soil management using cover crops (winter peas, fava beans, barley) to add nutrients, suppress weeds, build productive soil, and control pests
  • Use of natural weeds (clover, mustard)
  • Well water
  • Native wild yeast for fermentation
  • While not organic land certified, we do not use pesticides
  • Paper, recyclable packaging preferred