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Vineyard area at Silenus Winery to benefit from riparian buffer.

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Silenus Winery watershed area map.​

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Riparian replanting area at Silenus.

Silenus Winery Takes Farming to the Next Level

April is a time of growth – when plants move from dormancy to bloom and the Napa Valley’s landscapes are lush and green, with the rivers and streams full from early spring rains. During April, we also celebrate Down to Earth month, making it a great time to think about soil health and how to manage property using “Carbon Farming.”
Grapevines are essentially a carbon neutral crop (not accounting for tractor passes and tillage, fertigation, transporting the grapes, etc.). They store carbon during the growing season and release this carbon during harvest and over the winter, only to rebuild stores the next year. But there are many added decisions growers can make to increase the carbon sequestration on the farm and in the soil that can increase soil and vineyard health and productivity, increasing the overall resilience of the farm. That’s where Carbon Farming comes in.
Silenus Winery is one of the first Napa Green properties working with the Resource Conservation District (RCD) and Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to develop a custom Carbon Farm Plan (CFP) for their ~7 acres of estate vineyards. This will include a riparian replanting project that will involve voluntarily removing 0.35 acres of low-performing vineyard along Dry Creek and replacing that with a native riparian buffer of trees, plants and grasses to prevent the spread of Pierce’s Disease, thus creating an 85’ setback from the creek. Benefits of the project include removal of invasive host plants for blue-green sharpshooters (mugwort, Himalayan blackberry, periwinkle, and wild grape), flood erosion protection, increased wildlife habitat and enhanced carbon sequestration.

About 20 years ago the creek got plugged and the whole vineyard and winery flooded - barrels floating. We built a berm and planted Cabernet Franc but the area has been highly susceptible to Pierce’s Disease, with weak vines requiring continual replanting. The idea is to save the strong vines on the south side by giving up the weaker, exposed vines, and we think on balance we’ll get more fruit.”

Carbon provides the energy needed to drive on-farm processes, including the essential soil ecological processes that determine water and nutrient availability for the vines. Consequently, the CFP process views carbon as the single most important element, upon which all other on-farm processes depend.

Silenus Carbon Farm Plan - Top Five Practices for Carbon Sequestration and GHG reductions over 20 years:

  • Application of compost over 6.3 acres (10 tons/acre by end of year 5 and second application of 10 tons/acre beginning year 10) has the estimated potential to sequester 580 tons of CO2e
    Hedgerow planting in 1.52 acres has the potential to sequester 240 tons of CO2e
  • Increasing cover crop from 60% to 75% cover area has the potential to sequester 40 tons of CO2e
  • Planned riparian restoration practices on a 0.5 acre parcel have the estimated potential to sequester 10 tons of CO2e
  • Implementation of alternate row tillage on 5.8 acres has the estimated potential to sequester 10 tons of CO2e
  • Mulch application under the vines has the estimated potential to sequester 6 tons of CO2e
Altogether these five strategic Carbon Farm practices will sequester 886 tons of CO2e, equivalent to taking 188 typical cars off the road for a year. The compost application is also highly likely to result in enhanced vine and cover crop growth, capturing additional CO2. And the increased Soil Organic Matter will improve water infiltration.

We’re always learning. The RCD had funding for Carbon Farm Planning and we decided why not take advantage of it? The process has been valuable and streamlined. Learning about complex concepts like carbon sequestration can be overwhelming - need folks like the RCD and NRCS to help you. The whole team is excited to be able to tell this restoration story.

Napa Green is about producing wine responsibly and being proud of our respect for the environment and for future generations.

Economic benefits & ROI of workshops: In a time of changing consumer trends, we want you think of us as extended members of your team. We are here to help share information of ways to not only increase your sustainability but also share with you how these things bring with them ROI, decrease in cost, consumer approval & many other economic benefits. 

Join us at our All Things Bottle Sustainability Workshop to hear from our panel of experts. Registration is $20 and the link can be found in our profile. Cheers!
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📣 Don’t miss these events! 

April 26th - All Things Bottle Sustainability, Pine Ridge Vineyards, 9:00am.

May 23rd - The Future of Water Workshop, 9:00am. 

On April 26 we have 12+ speakers covering all aspects of climate smart glass and packaging. Digging in on the truly most sustainable recyclable/compostable/reusable options, with some product show and tell. 

On May 23 we have keynotes from two incredible speakers and internationally renowned experts: Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute and author of The Three Ages of Water, and Mimi Casteel, vineyard manager at Hope Well Wine and forest ecologist. 

Register now!
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Join us for a dinner that brilliantly combines luxury and sustainability with Vintner Kia Behnia, acclaimed Chef Dave Cruz and The Wine Bible Author, Karen MacNeil! 

This event will help Napa Green raise much needed funding to keep our non profit thriving. For more info head to the link in our bio or email social@napagreen.org!
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We invite you join us at a very special wine dinner with @karenmacneilco, Chef Dave Cruz and @neotempowines to raise funds for climate action in the wine industry. 

For further details please go to the link in our profile or email social@napagreen.org. 

We hope to see you there. Cheers!
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Happy Earth Month! While our members celebrate the Earth every day of the year, this month is a great time to showcase those sustainability practices and tell consumers what you do to be green! Be sure to tag @napagreen in your posts, join us @earthdaynapa, and reach out for more ways to get involved!
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Meghan brings her passion for wine and sustainability together in her role as @napagreen’s social media manager. She is both a Vintner and Certified Sommelier and helps our members share their sustainability stories, emphasizing how caring for nature and community elevates both quality and guest experience. 

Thanks for your unwavering passion and dedication @mvino1!
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Join the @napagreen team this earth month at events around the valley at @cliffamily @earthdaynapa @silveroakcellars and more.

We look forward to talking (and drinking) sustainability with you!
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Say hi to @marisataylorwines, our Winery & Climate Specialist. Marisa has supported sustainable farming and green practices from vineyard to cellar and across all winemaking operations and continues to leverage her expertise to help wineries become climate action champions. 

Thanks for all you do!
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Last week we had a great climate smart burn and alternatives demonstration @gloriaferrerwinery where attendees learned techniques for a conservation/low-smoke burn with demonstrations from @thecleanburncompany and @napa.char. 

Additionally, speakers from @naparcd and Treasury Wine Estates presented the results from a recent vineyard biochar application research project. 

Learn more on our website.
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Have you met Sierra, our Climate & Soil Specialist? Sierra works tirelessly to advance climate resiliency in the Napa Valley by collaborating with growers to realize their climate action aspirations. 

Say hi to @growresiliently next time you see her in the field. Thanks for all that you do, Sierra!
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On average 40-60% of a vineyard and winery’s carbon footprint is from packaging and distribution alone. Join us to explore climate smart, sustainable glass, closures, the future of reusable glass, alternative packaging. Hear case studies. Learn what is truly recyclable, and new opportunities to recycle film wrap and label backing. Since 2020, climate smart marketed CPG products have doubled in sales to $3.4 billion. Wine bottles and packaging can be leveraged to meet rising consumer demand for climate smart products.

Get tickets to this workshop @pineridgewine to hear from @napagreen @consciouscontainer @revinobottles @keystonecapsules @cork_supply @neotempowines @estal_packaging @uppervalleydisposal @naparecycling and more!
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You may have seen Megan, our Winery Program Manager, out and about sporting her @napagreen shirt and talking about green practices. Utilizing her background in hospitality, sustainability and engineering she is dedicated in guiding businesses toward a more sustainable future. 

Thanks for all you do @love.dream.breathe!
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Join us for All Things Bottle Sustainability on Friday, April 26th. Link in bio to register!
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Cheers to @abrittain! Anna has worked locally, nationally and internationally on environmental management, including leading @napagreen and @naparise to the forefront of the wine industry climate action movement. 

Keep an eye out for her with our unofficial mascot, Lily, sharing our best practices, facilitating action and growing resilience in our industry and community. 

Thank you for all you do!
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