STURGEON BAY, WI – Kayaking, hiking, hybrid vehicles and granola will have to make room for wine in Door County. You no longer have to gauge your greenness when you decide to visit the tasting room at Door Peninsula Winery, Wisconsin’s largest producer of wine and Door County’s original winery. July marked the start of an effort to be more environmentally responsible in all aspects of growing, production, fulfillment and sales.
“We’ve always been aware of water conservation, primarily because we have a holding tank,” notes Chief Operating Officer and Door County Green Fund board member Rob Pollman. “More recently, we’ve turned the microscope on ourselves in other areas because of observations made by staff. It’s a topic that is on many people’s minds and there are social habits that we need to ingrain into our business.”
The eco-friendly nature of the winery starts in the vineyard.
“We don’t practice scorched earth farming,” says winemaker Paul Santoriello.
No pesticides are used in the small, hand-tended, eight acre vineyard and only an occasional herbicide is spot-applied as needed.
“We also source local when possible and use fruit juice instead of full fruits to cut down on waste. For example, in our well-known cherry wines, we use cherry juice pressed off-site and the cherries are dehydrated and sold as dried fruit. If we would use the entire cherry in wine production, the solid fruit would have to be discarded.”
Recycling is just the beginning at the Door Peninsula Winery. Annually, approximately 7,200 wine bottles (about nine pallets) from the retail area/sampling bar are recycled along with 550 cubic yards of cardboard. Recycled paper, default print preview software, reuse of ink cartridges, energy-efficient lights and bulbs in the parking lot, incoming natural light through large windows, low water use spigots and toilets, employee ride-share, and recycled paper (egg carton) shipping containers are among the ways the winery has gone green.
You may even notice some creative housewares at the winery that use bottles that have been reformed into plates and tea light lanterns. Door Peninsula Winery is trying to share their green message with the public in an offer that encourages them to reuse their six-bottle wine carriers. Anytime you reuse one at the winery, you receive an instant $2 savings on your purchase. Even if you fill the carrier with six bottles for the first time, you still receive 10% off your entire wine purchase.
“It’s just an incentive for people to understand that we’re serious and not just jumping on the green band wagon,” says Tyson Wegman, retail manager. “Part of being green is education and that also includes our clients.”
Door Peninsula Winery is exploring the Travel Green Certification offered in Wisconsin, but intends to continue their green habits regardless of the certification.
The largest producer of wine in the state of Wisconsin and Door County’s original winery, Door Peninsula Winery is located in the old, 1868 Carlsville schoolhouse. For more information, contact Jaime Forest at email@example.com or call 800.551.5049.