When Don and Elizabeth Van Steenwyk first purchased land in Paso Robles, in 1971, they quickly learned to take care of such a picturesque place, they had to do more than just serve as owners: they had to become stewards of the land, devoted to keeping it healthy, thriving, and beautiful.
Don and Elizabeth were forward-thinking and had a desire to leave the smallest footprint possible. These ecologic beliefs first led them to reshape processes at the ranch through dry-farming and increasing water reservoirs by building new ponds on the land.
Some 40 years later, Adelaida’s devotion and love for the land is continually demonstrated by sustainable vineyard practices, solar energy use, water and habitat preservation, and respect for the majestic property. Currently, Adelaida produces all of its energy needs from its own solar farm, and recycles its pond water for storage and ranch use via a system developed by Don in the 1980s. Only 10% of Adelaida’s 1900 acres are planted to vineyards; more than 1000 acres of land remain undeveloped and unfenced, for ecological and wild animal habitat. Adelaida Vineyards was a forerunner in the ecology movement, and today continues to be a model for excellence in the industry.
In 2014, Adelaida completed the necessary 82 prerequisites to become a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Winery & Vineyard (CCSW). Created by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CCSW) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the benefits of sustainable winegrowing practices, enlists wine industry commitment and assists in the implementation of the Sustainable Winegrowing Program. This third party verification is another testament to Adelaida’s philosophy of optimal economic, environmental and social performance.