Honig Vineyard & Winery
When the Honig family purchased their Rutherford vineyard in 1964, sustainability became their way of life. In the early ’90s, they worked to develop clean farming practices to promote a healthy ecosystem. By 2005, Michael Honig was working to train “sniffer dogs” to detect pests among the vines, and in 2006 the Honigs installed the largest solar power system at that time in the Napa Valley. Michael then chaired the Wine Institute’s California initiative to develop the "Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices," and in 2007 both the winery and the vineyard were among the first 17 properties certified as part of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification program. Every aspect of the business is continually reviewed and updated to ensure that best practices are in place, from managing water to composting food waste; providing habitat for insect-eating birds; participation in a carbon farming program; and utilizing sheep in the vineyard for weed control. Simple changes like using lighterweight glass bottles means the winery uses about 100 tons less glass each year.
The family’s most recent effort to reduce their carbon footprint is a redesign of their iconic packaging to remove the foil capsule, keeping 1 million foils a year from ending up in the landfill, an effort that has been applauded by consumers. The next big idea on their evergrowing list: Recycling wastewater with the help of earthworms. As the family moves into their fourth generation, Stephanie Honig says, “Embracing sustainability is more important than ever. Our children and our planet are depending on us.”