Practicing Sustainability

For People and Planet

at Etude and Grace Benoist Ranch

Along with being winemakers, we are also stewards of the land where our wine is grown, including the plants and animals that live there and the water that passes through. We believe sustainable farming results in better, higher quality wine, and ensures the viability of our estate for generations to come. Continue reading to learn about our sustainability efforts at the winery.

Practicing Sustainability

Etadu Wine Testing

In the Vineyard

Between San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean, tucked away in the far northwest corner of the esteemed Carneros Appellation in Sonoma Valley, the 1,500-acre Grace Benoist Ranch is unusual among vineyards.

Instead of planting in a traditional grid style to maximize plantings, the estate vineyards there are configured into dozens of small vineyard sites averaging eight acres in size. With only one-third of the ranch planted to vines, the remaining acreage is left in its natural state to preserve native trees, waterways, ecosystems, and corridors that aid plants and animals. 

  • No Tree Removal

    Several native California oak and bay laurel trees grow on the ranch, including one giant specimen with a trunk 56 feet around. 

  • 12 Miles Of Wildlife Corridors Maintained 

    We fence vineyards off separately to protect open spaces, preserve wildlife habitat, and allow for the natural migration patterns throughout the ranch. It’s common to see barn owls, wild turkeys, deer, woodpeckers, bobcats, mountain lions, and several other species, plus wild plants there. 

  • Significant Riparian Setbacks 

    We protect naturally occurring wetlands and we’re working to control erosion, safeguarding nearby waterways and restoring Champlain Creek, which runs through the south end of the vineyard. 

  • Natural Cover Crop Management

    To keep tractors out of the vineyard as much as possible and prevent soil compaction when the ground is wet, sheep are allowed to graze in the vineyard in springtime. Hoof-trodden ground helps percolate rainwater into the soil, and the hungry sheep keep down weeds and cover crops while fertilizing the soil. 

  • Water Resource Sensitivity and Deficit Irrigation

    While we use underground well water on site for irrigation as needed, a “pressure chamber” device lets us assess vine water stress so we can irrigate less overall throughout the growing season. 

At the Winery

  • Water

    Recycled water from the Carneros Pipeline Project, which brings clean, treated, recycled water from the City of Napa to local land and homeowners, is used for landscape irrigation and to fill up fire suppression ponds, reducing the reliance on local groundwater.

  • Energy

    We closely monitor energy use and have been generating power with solar panels at the site for over a decade. The solar panels help to reduce energy costs and provide revenue through the sale of renewable energy credits, which allow Etude to help green the grid.

  • Less Waste

    Employees also manage compost and recycling programs to divert waste away from landfills.

  • Sharing Our Bounty

    Our employees cultivate a vegetable garden that not only provides fresh produce for them and their families, but also helps the Community Action of Napa Valley, which has received over 3,000 pounds of fresh produce from the Etude garden yearly since 2020.

About CANV Food Bank

Since 1965, Community Action of Napa Valley has been helping to increase self-determination and self-sufficiency for low-income families, disadvantaged people, and senior citizens in our community. Whether it’s shelter or food, or care and attention, the programs, staff, and supporters of Community Action of Napa Valley make a real difference for people throughout the Napa Valley.

Learn about CANV Food Bank
  • Visit us in Napa

    Experience the captivating world of wine at Etude Winery, nestled in the heart of Napa Valley's picturesque Carneros region. Join us for an unforgettable tasting journey, as you savor our exceptional Pinot Noir and other exquisite varietals, expertly crafted to showcase the unique terroir of our estate. 

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  • Explore our Wines

    Etude specializes in a selection of white and two classic red varietals - Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Though modeled on the best from Burgundy and Bordeaux, these wines speak clearly to their contemporary California origins, combining rich, ripe fruit with an elegant structure and opulent mouthfeel.

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