The CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) have handed out awards to Benziger Family Winery for their closed loop water system and Fetzer Vineyards for their waste reduction.
CCOF certified Fetzer Vineyards has been recognized for the 13th year by the 2009 Waste Reduction Award Program (WRAP) of the California Integrated Waste Management Board for their outstanding achievements in reducing, reusing, and recycling. Fetzer reduced its landfill waste by 96 percent in 2008. Part of that success was achieved through Fetzer’s recycling initiative, which recycles more than 968 tons of glass, cardboard, paper, plastics, metal, pallets, barrels, and other items. In 2008, Fetzer underwent a major packaging change that converted its entire line of wines to light-weight bottles. The conversion reduced the per bottle weight by an average of 14 percent, resulting in a savings of 2,173 tons of glass per year.
Also in the wine industry, CCOF certified Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California, recently gained attention for creating an almost completely closed loop water system for their winery. The closed loop system works by filtering water through three ponds, which begin with water containing grape sediment and other organic materials and ends with water nearly clean enough for human consumption. The ponds use natural resources such as organisms living on plant roots in the ponds to filter out impurities. In a normal year, Benziger Family Winery is able to completely irrigate their land without drawing any irrigation water from the ground, an impressive and innovative feat. Benziger has also been nominated for “Best Sonoma Winery” for the 2010 Best of the Bay List.