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Monday, April 25, 2016

Fetzer Vineyards -- Ahead of the Curve

You probably haven't thought a lot about Fetzer wines. You've seen them on the store shelf. You've probably drank some. They aren't necessarily the darlings of those who rate or review wines. But there's a lot going on behind the scenes.

Fetzer has a goal to be "net positive" by 2030. This means the winery will create more energy, water, and other resources than they consume. Think about that, a company, or even a household, that would create more than it consumes.

Fetzer has been ahead of everyone else for a long time.

Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Hopland, CA in Mendocino County, Fetzer is currently owned by a Chilean vintner They have hundreds of acres of organic and biodynamic vineyards. In the late 1980s Fezter used five acres of experimental vineyards to practice sustainable farming methods before most of us knew what that meant. Wineries use a lot of water and Fetzer has been on the leading edge of looking at ways to reduce consumption and recycle their waste.

They recently became a certified B corporation because of environmental policies, how they treat their workers, and social responsibility.

One of the Fetzer's 11 children making wine
from her own organic grapes
Other Fetzer siblings also own wineries
image from

They just installed a regenerative filtration system to treat all of their waste water. It's a closed-loop system using earthworms and microbes to treat the water.

The winery's earth-first mentality has been with them since their founder, Barney Fetzer and his family, ran the place. Even though they sold the winery in 1992 (Barney died n 1981) it continues to pioneer in the environmental and social fields.
Earth Day at Fetzer Winery from Forbes magazine