Greater good

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
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

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


Read more...

It's a Man's Man's Man's World

May 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Male tech workers speak out on the industry's gender troubles.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


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