Nurture the Land and Return What You Take
This philosophy brings with it a dedication to delivering wines that speak to their natural origins. The wines cultivated at The Hess Collection demonstrate the distinctive qualities of the Napa Valley, including the unique qualities of high altitude and single vineyard wines. We strive to protect these qualities by honoring our natural environment. By being responsible in our business and winegrowing practices we are able to return to the land what we ask for it to provide.
The wine industry has taken a leadership role in the green movement of business standards. Wine industry leaders are working hand-in-hand with industrial, environmental and government agencies, and community partners, to develop standards of “green” practices in winemaking. The Hess Collection has been at the forefront of the green movement for many years (see timeline below). Most importantly, the winery actively participates in these two very important programs that are shaping the future for the wine industry.
Wine Institute: “The Code Of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices”
“The code helps assure that our wineries and vineyards continue to thrive alongside communities to produce world-class wines. Sustainable winegrowing not only improves wine quality, but helps us compete in the global market place where consumers are increasingly interested in knowing that the foods and wines they enjoy are produced in an environmentally friendly manner.” Robert P. Koch, President & CEO of the Wine Institute.
Napa Valley Vintners Association: Napa Green Certified Winery Program
“Napa Green Certified Winery is a Napa-specific set of sustainable and green business practices developed for wineries. The NVV is working closely with our partners at the Napa County Department of Environmental Management and the Association of Bay Area Governments as third party certifiers. Certified wineries demonstrate a commitment to conserving water and energy, reducing waste and preventing pollution. The efforts of Napa Green Certified Winery are aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of wine production facilities as part of the broader view of excellent business.” Napa Valley Vintners Association
The Hess Collection Winery was among the first 10 wineries to receive certification for the Napa Green Winery program, and is one of only six wineries to have both Land and Winery certifications.
1978 | Donald Hess acquires his first land on Mount Veeder and completes purchase of 900 acres in 1982. Over 600 acres are set aside as undeveloped land to support wild life corridors, fish friendly farming practices and bio- diversity. The vineyards and winegrowing of The Hess Collection Winery utilize sustainable practices as defined by the Wine Institute.
1992 | The Hess Collection hosts the first Natural Farming Symposium for vineyards in the United States. Over 100 vintners attend from Napa and Sonoma Valleys and the panel included speakers from Europe, Australia and the United States.
2002 | The Hess Collection helps develop the Wine Institute’s “Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices,” a landmark code of best management practices promoting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
2007 | The Hess Collection sits on the Napa Valley Vintners Association steering committee to establish the “Napa Green”program to define best practices for Napa Valley winery facilities. As a board member of the Wine Institute, Gary Bulger, President of The Hess Collection, actively participates in the organization’s goal of establishing a standardized and certifiable definition of sustainable wine-growing practices.
2008 | The Hess Collection is among the first 10 wineries to receive certification for the Napa Green Winery program. In spring, The Hess Collection purchases 24 goats—all of whom turned out to be pregnant—for ground clearing and underbrush management in our Mount Veeder estate vineyards. Now, the more than 100 goats are released into the vineyards prior to bud break to help with weed control, minimizing the use of tractors and tilling.
2010 | The Hess Collection is among the first 17 wineries to be certified through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) by third party verification. Established by the Wine Institute and California Association of Winegrape Growers, CSWA requires adherence to a “process of continuous improvement” in the adaptation and implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices. The goals of the new certification program are to enhance transparency, advance the entire California wine industry towards best practices in environmental stewardship, conservation of natural resources and socially equitable business practices.