Green Efforts: Clos du Bois

Winter is upon us, the leaves are changing, the nights are getting colder, and it is time again to get ready for the winter hibernation, or at the least get the extra layers out of the closet. One of my favorite ways of keeping warm is with a nice glass of locally, sustainably grown wine. This month we are featuring four delicious wines from Clos Du Bois: Sonoma Reserve Chardonnay – 2010, Sonoma Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – 2009, Sonoma Reserve Fume Blanc – 2011, and Sonoma Reserve Merlot – 2008. All of which can be found in Oliver’s three locations for a special reduced price. So keep the blood moving and the smiles flexing, with a nice bottle of Clos Du Bois.

Clos Du Bois has been making wine in Sonoma County and Northern California for over 40 years. They are a leader in the sustainable wine industry. Over the years Clos Du Bois has incorporated sustainability into their culture, looking at the full spectrum of ways in which they can make a tangible difference. Because of this introspective view and desire to be a beneficial member of the community, Clos Du Bois has been recognized with a plethora of awards. These awards reinforce their desire to help the environment. Awards include: “Green Revolutionary” wine spectator, 2007; Sonoma County Green Business Certification Level II, since 2001; Innovator Award, California Department of Pesticide Regulation, 2002; Sonoma County “Fish Friendly Farmer”, 2003; Environmental Stewardship Award, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service, 2007. This track record is very impressive and comprehensive; and very much appreciated by the community and environment.

Additionally, Clos Du Bois has developed many in house projects that combined with the above awards round out a comprehensive sustainability approach to wine making. Clos Du Bois’ recycling program diverts approximately 90% of all solid waste, which is composted and spread throughout the vineyards. Mandatory recycling for employees has been implemented on all sites, and Clos Du Bois wine bottles are made with 40% recycled material.

Wineries typically are very large consumers of water. Clos Du Bois understands the importance of responsible consumption of their most vital resource. That is why they have installed drip irrigation throughout the vineyards to drastically reduce water usage. Waste water from winery processes is recycled and rerouted to the vineyards. Through these measures they have reduced consumption per acre to less then a typical family of four.

Because of the nature of agriculture, pest management is an on going issue. Clos Du Bois has decided to deal with this problem as nature does. They created microclimates to cultivate predatory insect’s communities throughout the planting of cover crops. Canopy management is utilized as a preventive measure against mildew, bunch rot, and insects, and also to enhance fruit quality though sun exposure.

Restoration of riparian habitat has been a major facet of Clos Du Bois’ sustainability plan. They have converted existing vineyard land bordering the Russian River back to a dedicated riparian environment, and planted trees and shrubs for shade to promote healthier fish habitats. Additionally, wetlands are being restored on their properties to create a healthy habitat for migrating birds, amphibians, and beneficial insects.

Because of these measures, Oliver’s is proud to highlight the fine wines from Clos Du Bois for December’s Green Item of the Month. Partnering with other local, sustainable companies creates a more vibrant and healthy environment for us to thrive in; and sets a good example for other wineries and businesses to follow. Salute and thank you, Clos Du Bois.

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