Water sustains life – our business, our people, and our communities. We strive to exercise the most sustainable agricultural water management processes, with a two-part approach that manages both water use and water availability.
First, we resolve to find and implement the best water conserving practices. We currently use drip irrigation on 100% of our vineyards, the most responsible irrigation method available, and have surpassed industry-standards with a cutting-edge irrigation management process based on real-time soil moisture monitoring and local weather stations.
Second, we set aside a portion of our farmland and have worked with our sister company Homer LLC to build six water recharge basins that are helping to restore groundwater levels. In 2017 alone, the water basins captured approximately 120,000 acre-feet of water. In addition, we donate 10 to 50 percent of the recharged water to local needs including improving the overall health and sustainability of the underground aquifer system.
While we continue to explore opportunities to improve our energy efficiencies, we are already beginning to invest in renewable energy and have set aside land for solar power installations. We aim to have 10% of our power generated by these on-site energy sources.
Our goal is to, by 2022, plant 50 percent of our acres with cover crops and hedgerows that help maintain optimal soil health and support at-risk bee populations with critical habitat and nutrition. Project Apis m. helped us identify the plants to add to our land that provide forage for bees. Through this effort, we became the first-ever commercial grape grower to be given the designation of Certified Bee Friendly Farms from the Pollinator Partnership.
To be certified as a Bee Friendly Farm, we meet the following standards: