POSTED ON April 14, 2008 | IN Green Winery, Tasting Rooms | BY Joe Becerra

The term “sustainability” means preserving the environment and using the land in such a way as to preserve it for future generations. Honig Vineyards & Winery is proof positive that a winery can make really good wines while at the same time preserving the planet by adopting sustainable practices. In the case of Honig Vineyards, sustainable practices include cover crops instead of chemical fertilizers, owl houses and bat houses instead of pesticides, the use of solar energy and bio diesel fuel, and much more.

Honig Vineyards and Winery

We recently visited Honig Vineyards on a beautiful spring day. The winery is open by appointment only so we were expecting few visitors during a Tuesday visit. We were surprised to find the winery quite busy. It is obvious that Honig is a popular winery among tourists.

Our host gave us the choice of tasting wines in the tasting room or at the tables in their outdoor tasting area. That was an easy choice considering how pleasant a day it was. Tasting fee is $10 for a taste of five wines including their high-end Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet. Our host poured us a taste of their Sauvignon Blanc and sat down to welcome us to Honig and chat about their philosophy of sustainable practices. Our host was very enthusiastic but not overbearing. He gave us plenty of time alone to savor each wine. Each time he returned he gave us a brief description of the wine he was pouring and answered our questions knowledgeably. We spent a very leisurely time in the sun enjoying all the delicious Honig wines. The Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc is a wonderful wine and has been one of our favorites over the years. The Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet is an outstanding wine highly rated by various wine critics. However, at $75 a bottle, it is a just a bit out of our price range.

Honig Winery

Before we left, we walked in the vineyards to observe the owl and hawk houses posted at the end of several of the vineyard rows. The rows between the vines had been recently tilled so that the cover crops were now mulched into the soil.

One more thing, our host, also explained that the sustainable practices concept is applied to employees. The winery provides full benefits and other workplace practices to keep employees working productively and remaining on the job.

The Good: A fine example of what can be done using sustainable practices, delicious wines.
The Bad: The Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet is out of our price range.