The Family Coppola – USA
The Family Coppola continually seeks innovative ways to bring environmentally responsible practices into the vineyards, winemaking techniques and property to improve efficiency, minimize impacts and create a nurturing habitat for wildlife, staff and visiting guests.
Bees are a signal of overall environmental health. A healthy bee population ensures a prolific garden and blooming plants. It’s the same reason that we have installed numerous bird boxes and plant cover crop. All these things we do mean that we have to do less interference in the long term. Less pest control, less fertilizer, more cover crop – that all means healthier soils, which means better grapes.
The goal for this project was to manage beehives on our property to support a healthy ecosystem in our vineyards, create a learning experience for our visitors and promote education.
PROJECT STARTING DATE: 2004| ENDING DATE: on going
We want to maintain a consistent hive(s) with minimal human interference. Our goal is to create a healthy and sustainable environment for our bee population, provide pollination for our culinary garden, and supply honey for our kitchen.
REASON WHY/ MOTIVATION:
We discovered that we had a bee colony living in a building on the property. The colony swarmed, and we were able to capture it and install the first Coppola beehive. A group of employees quickly came together to start an informal bee-keeping club.
DESCRIPTION AND STRATEGIES:
We have installed a number of hives, but quickly learned that the best place for them in within our large Rustic Culinary Garden. There the bees are shaded, have easy access to water and are surrounded by infinite plants and blooms.
Our bee-keeping team routinely inspects the hive, and extracts honey as needed. The team only takes a fraction of the honey, allowing ample food stores for the colony.
ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR:
- Francis Coppola Winery was awarded the 2018 Business for Bees Sustainability Award from Pollinator Partnership
- Bee Friendly Farming certified since 2014
- Bee’s Box Pinot Noir & Chardonnay was created to recognize national bee-keeping organizations
This is a project that requires internal company sponsorship and support. Consistent attention is critical for our hives, and we need to ensure we have appropriately educated employees to continue to maintain these critical hives.
Ongoing maintenance, evaluating opportunities to expand our program on site.
POTENTIAL FOR REPLICATION
This program is expandable, and can be replicated at our neighboring properties in Geyserville and Oregon.