Unfortunately, wine production is one area that often contributes to carbon emissions and resource consumption. With sustainability in mind, award winning musician Dave Matthews decided to take a different route when he created his winery. The Dreaming Tree Wines began as an effort to produce an eco-friendly wine that was not only affordable for wine lovers, but that also gave back to the environment.
Matthews first caught the winemaking bug when he purchased land in Virginia and considered farming it. As a wine lover, he soon found himself tinkering with the idea of creating an eco-conscious wine and sought out a partner. Matthews linked up with New Zealander and wine creator, Sean McKenzie. Together, the musician and vintner created a range of California wines that were both produced and packaged sustainably.
In an effort to ensure their wine follows eco-friendly guidelines, The Dreaming Tree is a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing winery. As part of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance third-party Certification Program, this entity encourages sustainable efforts in the wine industry and lays out requirements for environmental practices.
In addition to eco-friendly wine bottles, the winery also harnesses solar power throughout its property. As part of their clean energy efforts, the winery is part of an initiative that includes 17,000 solar panels. To ensure transparency in all they do, the winery works with the Carbon Disclosure Project to report any greenhouse gas emissions.
Apart from using recyclable natural corks, the glass bottles are manufactured with clean burning natural gas and made lighter than average wine bottles. Lighter bottles mean less transportation fuel and CO2 emissions. The wine labels are also created from completely recycled paper.
Outside of the winery, the Dreaming Tree continues to give back to the environment. Priced at roughly $15, each bottle contributes a portion of the proceeds to environmental organizations the winery works closely with. So far, the winery has donated over a million dollars to environmental organizations. For example, The Wilderness Society, one of the nation's leading public land conservation organizations, the group protects forests such as Cherokee National Forests.
Matthews has previously written about on the impact of colonization on Native American’s land through his songs and he serves on the National Governing Council of The Wilderness Society in an effort to spread environmental awareness. To date, The Wilderness Society has protected almost 110 million acres of wilderness.
The Dreaming Tree also donates to Living Lands & Waters. Living Lands & Waters focuses conservation efforts and directs its energy towards planting trees and large scale river clean ups. So far the organization has been able to plant one million trees and attributes much of it’s success to their partnerships with The Dreaming Tree.
Whether he’s finding the right music or wine notes, Matthews continues to champion environmental causes through his work. If you’re curious about this sustainable wine, The Dreaming Tree currently offers California wines such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir Sauvignon Blancs from California.