Landscaping thrives on recycled process wastewater at The Prisoner Wine Company.​


Rooftop solar and water storage tanks for Membrane Bioreactor, which treats and filters 100% of the water from the cellar with natural biological activity and reduces potable water needs by 37% at Silver Oak Cellars, Alexander Valley.


Raised garden beds replace inefficient turf lawn at The Prisoner Wine Company.

Napa Green Champions Make Water Efficiency Mainstream

Looking for some new ideas to improve water efficiency, and simultaneously save energy? Here are a few examples of what some Napa Green wineries are doing to baseline and track water use to inform decision making; engage staff through “Blue Teams;” and set ambitious and inspiring goals like becoming the first Living Building Challenge certified winery.

Diving Into Water Meter Data:

Cakebread Cellars wanted to get a better sense of where in the winery they were using the most water. They also needed reliable daily wastewater data to pilot a cutting-edge wastewater treatment system called BioFiltro. Based on the Napa Green Winery resource audit they had concerns about their water meter accuracy. Since their meters were about 10 years old they decided it was time for an upgrade. They researched meters that could submit data electronically to an online database in near real time and settled on the Badger Meter’s AquaCUE Flow Management system.

We wanted reliable, current data to inform decision making. Now we’re saving staff time and headaches collecting, recording and trending this data. We have much more detailed hourly information with added tools including temperature and precipitation overlays, as well as alerts. We’ve already identified a leak and some other opportunities.

Cakebread now has 10 active meters reporting to an online interface — one on each of the winemaking facilities in Rutherford and Oakville, two landscaping meters, two well meters, one garden meter, one wastewater meter, as well as a vineyard meter and a meter for the home onsite. They did a mix of bolt-in meters for smaller pipes (ranging in price from $300-600), which need professional installation, and clamp on meters, which have the benefit of being movable and easier to install (approximately $3,000 per meter for 3-4” pipes). The cost of each meter includes the ultrasonic data control panel and cellular device for automatic data transmission.

Having current graphs and visuals makes water use much easier to explain. This is helping our Green Team members understand water use and get excited about opportunities. They then relay this information back to their departments.

Blue Team Gets Results:

A few years ago, the leadership at what was then Francisan Estate, now The Prisoner Wine Company, decided to establish a “Blue Team.” This team evaluates high-water using activities, particularly cleaning and sanitation, and generates suggestions for reductions that still meet stringent quality assurance standards. One of the first opportunities identified was to use pH testing to recharge chemical cleaning solutions for reuse. During non-harvest season they are now able to reuse cleaning solutions 3-4 times.

The Blue Team also started reusing more water on the barrel line. Two of their three barrel washers now capture the final rinse at 140-150 degrees that is then used for a first rinse to remove lees and sediment. For their ozone barrel washing machine they capture the water for subsequent pressure washing of floors and other areas. Overall, water use for sanitation during non-harvest season has declined ~60%. The only challenge the team has encountered to water reuse is that captured water has to be used within two days, so reuse opportunities vary based on day-to-day tasks.

With recent renovations and changes in operations we’ve been reinvigorating the Blue Team and added a few cellar members. We’ve continued to see consistent water use savings year-over-year. Moving forward we’ll be dialing in water conservation for our new crush equipment.

Another big water saving opportunity was realized outside the winery by shifting from using well water for decorative landscaping to utilizing treated process wastewater. This immediately saved ~1.6 million gallons a year in water use and cut energy costs for pumping water from the well. During renovations they removed a fountain and replaced areas of turf with raised garden beds, as well as olive trees with an engineered soil system for enhanced permeability and groundwater recharge.

Industry Milestones — Tackling the Living Building Challenge:

In 2016, Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville became the first commercial production winery to achieve LEED Platinum certification for an existing building. At that location, their water conservation activities include:

  • Replacing turf with kurapia and artificial grass resulting in an 86% reduction in irrigation water use
  • Using steam as a key sanitation tool, which has the dual benefit of using much less water and being a better sanitizing agent.

We installed automatic pumpover devices, which not only save the backs of our cellar team, but create a closed system for each fermenting tank, meaning pumps and pipes are cleaned once every 2-3 week fermentation cycle, rather than several times per day.

At their new Alexander Valley winery Silver Oak has set their sights even higher – achieving both LEED Platinum certification for new construction and aiming to become the first Living Building Challenge (LBC) certified winery. This effort is being spearheaded by family member Haley Duncan, who has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. The LBC sets an even higher bar than LEED, requiring all water to be generated, treated and reused onsite. The facility must be off the water grid entirely Similarly, the facility must produce 105% of annual energy needs, requiring both exceptional efficiency and renewable energy. Silver Oak Cellars hopes to achieve Living Building Challenge certification for its Alexander Valley facility in 2019.

I applaud all vineyards and wineries that achieve Napa Green certification for their commitment to conservation and care for our community.

A live check in with @abrittain &!
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🌿 Did you know that less than 3% of philanthropic donations go to environmental work? 

Please consider donating to Napa Green this giving season with one of several ways at any level! 

Head to the link in our bio for details!
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With gratitude and joy, we wish you a beautiful day & start to the holiday season from all of us at Team Green! 

- Ben, Meghan, Anna, Marissa, Sierra & Megan
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‘If not here, where? If not now, when?’ 

“The onus is on us as a world class wine growing region to be leaders in sustainability & climate action.” 

- Executive Director of Napa Green, Anna Brittain
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It’s been a big week at Napa Green and we want to take a moment to raise a glass to salute you all. 

We are overjoyed to see so much support and invigorated interest in our mission towards sustainable practices and regenerative agriculture in the wine industry. 

We have many more details, paired with educational & financial resources that are already up and rolling on our website. We will continue to share them all, one by one and in great detail here on socials as well. 

For now please plan on joining us at our upcoming Town Hall meeting on Dec 7th at @stsupery. You can find more details at 

Cheers and Happy Friday Napa Valley. We are so proud to be a part of this amazing community!
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⚠️ Important Announcement 

Napa Green becomes the first sustainable wine growing certification to require the phaseout of Round Up. 

Please find the link in our bio for the full press release and full suite of info & grower resources. 

Join us on December 7th for our Napa Green Town Hall at @stsupery.
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Don’t miss the awe-inspiring @nikki_silvestri at @dominusestatewinery on Nov 30th!
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You’re invited to join us for a very special day at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th. 

We’ll be briefly interviewing our speaker @nikki_silvestri right here on Instagram today at 2:00pm PST to hear more about what to expect at this event. See you then.
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Curious to learn more? Join us at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th for a rare event and luncheon. Link in bio for details.
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GREEN is the new black this season!! 

Head to the link in our bio now and get your shirts, help a good cause and be an honorary part of Team Green this season! 💚
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Let’s hear it for our Executive Director of Napa Green, the incomparable Anna Brittain for being named a 2023 Wine Industry Leader by @winebusinessmonthly!! 

In their Sustainability Stewards section (which we love to see) we find Anna named in good company with inspired fellow leaders! 

Head to our stories or the link in our bio for free access to the full November issue. 

Cheers to the great work of our visionary Director Anna Brittain!!
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Drink Green this Halloween! 💚
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Sierra is our Soil & Climate Specialist at Napa Green and her ask this year is that everyone consider donating to our small but mighty Team Green for Giving Season! 

Here is more from @regenwithsierra: 

“🎃 Happy Halloween Eve everyone! Today is my birthday, and I would be beyond thrilled if you would consider a donation to @napagreen to support a nonprofit focused on climate action in the wine industry 🍷🍾

@napagreen has the leading set of standards for sustainable practices, from soil to bottle. I am most proud of the work we do with winegrape growers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices in their vineyards. 

Please consider supporting us in our mission!  Click the link in bio for more! “
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Thank you for having us @visitnapavalley! We had a great time talking to visitors about the many sustainability practices our Napa Green wineries and vineyards employ! 

Stop into the Visit Napa Valley Visitor Center in Napa to learn more!
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