Winemaking can be very unfriendly to nature. Historically, not much thought has gone into the damage done to the surrounding environment when planting vines on hillsides, riverbanks, and so on. There have always been winegrowers who follow organic/biodynamic principles and others who are motivated by environmental reasons, but much of the wine we drink comes from monocultural plantings that are not necessarily beneficial to the rest of nature. Attitudes are changing, and happily projects are being undertaken to ameliorate some of the damage.
"The State Water Resources Control Board has awarded Napa County a $750,000 Clean Water Act 319(h) Nonpoint Source grant to fund construction of the Napa River Rutherford Reach Restoration Project in Reach 8, on the Cakebread, Nickel & Nickel and Laird properties in Rutherford and Oakville. The grant review and selection process was a joint effort of the State Water Board, nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This funding will bring the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project to 70% completion by 2013.
|Photo by Simon|
The Rutherford Dust Society galvanized the local community of landowners to undertake the restoration of the Napa River in Rutherford and Oakville starting in 2002, with the initiation of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project. A decade later, under the leadership of Napa County, the project has successfully demonstrated shared costs and benefits among all stakeholders, from private landowners to the local community, state and federal government. To date, Napa County has received nearly $6 million in state and federal grant funding in support of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project, which it has matched with local Measure A watershed improvement tax funds. Private landowners have contributed an equal amount in land and lost agricultural production value to expand the riparian forest by 18 acres along the Napa River. These contributions are supporting improvement of water quality, enhancement of wildlife habitat, attenuation of flood damage, and provision of property protection along 4.5 miles of the Napa River. This project is on target to achieve completion by the TMDL compliance date of 2017.
With the Napa River Rutherford Reach Restoration Project serving as a successful model, Napa County is continuing its restoration efforts an additional nine miles downstream through the Oakville-Oak Knoll Reach, in partnership with the California Land Stewardship Institute and local landowners. Napa County is currently applying for grant funds to construct the remainder of the Rutherford Reach Restoration Project, and to begin construction on the restoration of the Oakville-Oak Knoll Reach Restoration Project.
About Rutherford Dust Society
Founded in 1994, the Rutherford Dust Society’s mission is to encourage and promote the highest quality standards in grape growing and wine making in the Rutherford Viticultural Area, and to gain recognition for this quality through education of the membership and public. To that end, the Rutherford Dust Society hosts several yearly events, including the community-oriented Rutherford Block Party, and A Day in the Dust, a trade and media tasting of current vintages. To promote the health of the Napa River, the Rutherford Dust Society formed the Rutherford Dust Restoration Team, a group of vintners and growers who are working together to restore the river as it passes through the Rutherford AVA."
Thanks to Tara from Balzac for bringing this to my attention!
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