Benzier Family Winery

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The legacy of the Benziger Family Winery began in 1981 in the hills and valleys of northern California. The operation, which began as a small family investment, quickly grew to become a successful medium sized winery producing approximately 180,000 cases of wine per year. In order to produce ‘world class wines with a sense of place’, the root of the Benziger Family’s environmental objective, the family began a series of environmental improvements to enhance the unique qualities of the grapes grown on their lands and the wine produced at their facilities. By 2001 the Benziger Family received several certifications in environmental stewardship including the Sonoma County Green Business Program and the Demeter Association which monitors and approved Biodynamic farming. It was the environmental initiative demonstrated by the Benziger Family in the years leading up to 2001 that attracted the attention of the California Environmental Protection Agency (CA/EPA). CA/EPA at the time had selected a handful of organizations to establish its innovation Initiative in the field of Environmental Management Systems. As a result of this initiative, by 2003 the Benziger Family Winery invested countless hours developing an official environmental management system (EMS) for the winery operations, with the assistance of CA/EPA and its Innovation Initiative. The EMS adopted by the Benzigers, which is based upon an already attractive commitment to environmental pro-action, created a formal environmental policy, identified and prioritized the environmental impacts of the winery and established objectives and target for improvement. The Formal EMS developed by the Benzigers would give them a head start on qualifying for the new ISO14001 Certification, a world renowned standard in environmental management systems. Although the development of the EMS and its affiliated environmental programs constituted a significant financial investment by the Benzigers, the benefits of the...
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