Home Back Issues June 2012 Greater good

Greater good

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Article Index
Greater good
Page 2
Page 3
0612 GreaterGood 02
Making Planet Oregon pinot noir became a pet project after the Soters decided to spread the gospel, one bottle at a time, of eco-friendly wine making.
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn

Planet Oregon, on the other hand, is basically a vehicle for sharing with consumers the earth-friendly wisdom Soter and his wife, Michelle, gained from the Carbon Neutral Challenge, a 2007 program sponsored by the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) and the Oregon Wine Board. But before taking the challenge, Soter thought he was already ahead of the game.

 

“I’ve been doing organic grape growing since the mid 1980s in Napa,” he says. “I certified several vineyards there and I’m bringing the same sensibilities to what we do here.” But in spite of his good intentions, his concept of sustainability was limited.

He credits veteran Oregon winemaker Susan Sokol Blosser “for opening my eyes to the greater meaning of sustainability,” and OEC executive director Andrea Durbin for encouraging his leadership role in the Carbon Neutral Challenge. Soter Vineyards was one of 14 wineries of an original 30 that were able to complete the arduous 18-month challenge. The challenge not only changed Soter’s outlook but the way he did business.

“Here we have somebody who is one of the world’s best winemakers who’s firmly committed to stewarding the land and resources in a wise way and integrating all of that in a fine wine,” Durbin says.

Carefully monitoring inputs and outputs and considering the impact of every decision, Soter increased recycling and composting, installed solar panels and a more efficient cooling system for fermentation tanks, and retrofitted pumping systems with energy-efficient motors. The weight of the wine bottles was reduced almost by half.

Durbin says other Oregon industries are also reducing their carbon footprint, seeking to do the right thing while reducing energy and fuel bills. In the Oregon nursery industry, 20% are currently participating in a carbon challenge, while members of the state’s craft-brewing industry are bellying up to the bar for a challenge of their own.

 



 

More Articles

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper journalists move into brand journalism.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Constant Contact

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

To prevent burnout, companies are banning email and after-hours communications. But is the 24-hour workday here to stay?


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS