April 19, 2023 | by Kendall Busby

Last week, Pollinator Partnership presented Jordan Vineyard & Winery with the 2022 Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award. This award recognizes a business that has shown exceptional leadership and action in providing habitat and awareness for monarchs along their migratory corridors.

bees flying and pollinating plants in garden
Photography by Jak Wonderly.

“I am amazed by the commitment of Jordan’s ownership and staff in protecting not just monarch butterflies but all pollinators. They show extreme care and consideration in their approach to incorporating conservation into their farming practices. It is not easy work, but it makes a big difference,” says Kelly Bills, executive director for Pollinator Partnership.

Jordan Winery has a long history of integrating conservation practices with their winemaking practices and has demonstrated the importance and practicality of planting pollinator habitats on working lands. With monarch populations continuing to show signs of decline, Jordan has stepped up to the plate by restoring nearly ten acres of non-native grassland to native habitat, and planting over 300 milkweed seeds alongside 2,500 pollinator-friendly, non-invasive plants from 100 species.

In 2019, Brent Young, director of agricultural operations and the rest of the team at Jordan partnered with Pollinator Partnership to help promote the annual Pollinator Week during the summer vineyard hikes at Jordan. After completing this initiative, and with much success, Jordan decided to take their pollinator husbandry to the next level. Over the next year, Jordan worked with Pollinator Partnership to create various pollinator sanctuaries across the Jordan Estate. The two organizations selected plants based on a number of factors including the terrain, sun exposure, proximity to watersheds, and which pollinators each habitat would support. While they’ve faced challenges establishing and maintaining the sanctuaries due to weather and the difficulties of the milkweed plant, the Jordan team has continued to refine and improve their practices in efforts to spread awareness about the importance of protecting native pollinators.

“On behalf of the entire Jordan team, we are honored to be the recipients of Pollinator Partnership’s 2022 Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award,” said John Jordan, chief executive officer at Jordan Vineyard & Winery. “As a certified sustainable winery and a Bee Friendly Farming-certified vineyard, protecting the at-risk Western Monarch Butterfly, native bees and other pollinators is a critical part of our land stewardship and sustainability efforts. I’m pleased that our dedicated estate and ranch team, led by Brent Young are being recognized for their diligent efforts to create a thriving environment despite many challenges over the last few years; I hope our actions inspire more landowners across the West to do the same.”

Man holding sustainability award plaque