Sustainability is a comprehensive concept that encompasses hundreds of the best management practices in the winery and vineyards and with employees and neighbors. Tolosa has always made sustainability a bedrock of its values and practices.
Tolosa showed its commitment to energy conservation with the installation of a SunPower high efficiency 539-killowatt (a 640 horsepower equivalent) ground mounted sun tracking system in August 2009. Encompassing a 33,583-square-foot area adjacent to the winery, the system uses 2,508 high-efficiency Sun Power solar panels installed on Sun Power T0 Trackers. The Trackers use a GPS system to track the sun during the day increasing energy capture by up to 25% over fixed-tilt systems while significantly reducing land use requirements. The system will produce enough power to offset 90 to 95% of the winery’s electricity demand. Tolosa’s system generates the most power during the times of day when electricity demand and utility rates are at their peak. Excess electrical power is delivered back to PG&E’s utility grid for use by other PG&E customers. According formulas from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Tolosa’s solar system is expected to displace more than 32 million pounds of carbon dioxide (smog emissions) over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing more than 2,600 cars from California’s roads.
Tolosa’s commitment to sustainability is evidenced in a myriad of ways, from big gestures to every day small acts. In addition to our solar power facility, all winery waste, including grape seeds and skins, is recycled, composted, or otherwise recovered. We use tools designed to do multiple tasks at the same time; this minimizes the number of tractors traveling through the vineyard and significantly reduces fuel, soil compaction and erosion. We utilize cover crops that reduce erosion, build soil fertility, and provide habitat for beneficial insects. And the list goes on.
All portions of Tolosa’s estate vineyard, Edna Ranch, are SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certified.