The Fess Parker family announced that its estate vineyard, Rodney’s, has been recognized by third-party certifier Sustainability in Practice (SIP) for meeting rigorous standards of environmental protection and preservation. The announcement comes at the end of the 20th anniversary for the family’s Epiphany label, which sources much of the fruit for its wines from Rodney’s Vineyard.
“As a family owned and operated business, good stewardship of our natural resources is embedded in everything we do,” says Eli Parker, owner. “When we launched Epiphany 20 years ago, it was a celebration of the grapes from our family estate – Rhone varietals that thrived in the microclimate of Foxen Canyon – so becoming SIP Certified feels like a great way to honor our original vision.”
SIP Certified is a rigorous sustainable vineyard, winery and wine certification with strict, non-negotiable standards based on science and expert input, independent verification, transparency and absence of conflict of interest. Certification addresses the 3 P’s of Sustainability – People, Planet, Prosperity – ensuring that both natural and human resources are protected. Meeting the standards requires a measurable, holistic set of practices addressing habitat, water, energy, soil, recycling, air quality, packaging, pest management, social equity and business management.
“Achievements such as SIP Certified are fantastic recognition of what that stewardship means not just to our customers, but to our suppliers and staff as well,” adds owner Ashley Parker-Snider. “After more than 30 years on the home ranch in Los Olivos, we welcome the opportunity to celebrate what sustainability in practice looks like for the long term.”
The multiyear certification initiative was led by winery president Tim Snider, head winemaker Blair Fox and associate winemaker Tyler Eck. The winemaking team, together with Coastal Vineyard Care, pursued best practices that earned the SIP Certified seal of approval:
Irrigation is only applied based on the needs of the vines as determined by visual inspection as well as soil and plant-based monitoring sensors.
The biological health of the soil is cultivated by introducing beneficial ground cover to deliver nutrients naturally. Natural soil management prevents erosion, restores nutrients and reduces need for human intervention.
On Rodney’s Vineyard, owl boxes are placed throughout the vineyards to promote biodiversity and so that the owls will hunt the gophers and ground squirrels that damage the vines by eating their roots.
In addition to providing safe and fair working conditions, Fess Parker Winery is proud to offer competitive employee wages and benefits, including a profit-sharing program distributed across all divisions of the organization.
The winery is also committed to the team’s professional growth, with development opportunities from “tailgate meetings” on the vineyard to certifications through GuildSomm and the Court of Master Sommeliers.
“SIP Certified represents how it all comes together for us under the Fess Parker family portfolio,” says Snider. “We are committed to making the best wines we can, for as long as we can – and as a generational business, that means thinking about our natural resources generationally, as well.”
To learn more about the Fess Parker family’s sustainability efforts, visit https://www.fessparker.com/Winery/Sustainability.