Fabulous Eco-Winemakers: Part 4

Crema - Craig McAllister

Craig McAllister of La Crema

Tell us about the sustainable and eco-friendly practices at the vineyard: At La Crema, we take our role as environmental stewards very seriously. Certified under the California Wine Institute Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance program, La Crema is dedicated to crafting high-quality, accessible wines in the most eco-friendly way possible. From our vineyards to our tasting rooms, we minimize our environmental impact and carbon footprint by utilizing renewable energy sources, practicing water conservation, and minimizing waste. By instituting a zero-waste initiative, almost 99 percent of the waste we produce is diverted from the landfill to be composted as pomace and returned to the vineyard.

To reduce our carbon footprint and support the local electric grid, we’ve implemented Tesla Energy’s onsite Powerpack commercial batteries, which has made us one of the first companies in the US to pilot this type of technology. Additionally, we have a photovoltaic (PV) solar array that generates renewable energy, allowing us to offset approximately 65 percent of our winery’s annual electricity usage. To make up for the remaining electricity use, we purchase renewable energy credits.

Moreover, we are dedicated to sustainable farming practices and closely monitor the water stress on our vines to minimize our water usage. In production, we use only about half the water per gallon of wine as compared to the industry average. We also reuse and recycle water in our cooling systems to further reduce our water consumption. All the water used in our winery is recycled for vineyard irrigation.

Tell us about the varietals you make: At La Crema, we focus on producing high-quality wines from cool-climate appellations, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as our primary varietals. We source our grapes from cool-climate regions including the Russian River Valley, Monterey and Sonoma Coast in California, and Willamette Valley in Oregon. More recently, we introduced a Sauvignon Blanc, which is on its third vintage, a Brut Rosé of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and an estate exclusive Rhône White Blend from our Saralee’s Estate Vineyard.

What are a few wines that readers should try right now?

Sonoma Coast 2021 Pinot Noir

Sonoma Coast 2021 Chardonnay

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