Green ingenuity brings energy independence, farm-to-table eats at Page Springs Cellars
PAGE SPRINGS – Owner Eric Glomski keeps thinking of innovative ways to keep Page Springs Cellars a self-sustaining site.
He bought the Oak Creek-nestled property in 2003, and planted and built the winery in 2004.
Glomski and his family also own all of Arizona Stronghold, but he calls Page Springs Cellars, which employs around 50 people, his “cool little family project.”
It’s a vertically integrated business he said. “We do everything on site here.”
Page Springs Cellars isn’t a restaurant per se, said Glomski, but more of a bistro.
“We have an amazing chef,” he said.
Meats are cured on site, and the bistro provides the largest cheese selection in Northern Arizona, he said.
Produce such as apples, peas, beets, onions, and “tons and tons of herbs” are grown organically on site. Close to 600 pounds of cherry tomatoes are harvested, he said, and used for the cellar’s tomato sauces. The garlic grown is an heirloom garlic from early settler James Page, Glomski said, and over 100 years old. He describes it as tiny, purple, and really really spicy.
Near the gardens and orchards is a washing machine that has been converted into a giant salad spinner. Fresh spring water runs through it, he said, and his farmer can put up to 25 pounds of greens in it.
Small plates, salads, and pizzas are prepared for hungry visitors.
Glomski said he looks at a food tray, and sees what was not grown locally or on site.
“Like olives. Let’s plant some olive trees. So that’s going to be next, etcetera etcetera, so we are just going to keep chipping away at it like that,” he said.
The family-owned company has found themselves running out of land, and is trying to acquire more from a neighbor.
Eighty-five percent of the site’s power comes from solar energy, and in seven years, they’ll go to 100.
A bonus: the solar panels, placed in 2014, provide covered parking.
Glomski says he looks forward to being able to say “every little amount of energy we use happens right here.”
Each year, Page Spring Cellars tries to take one more step towards being a sustainable site.
Glomski explained what sustainability means to him.
“Let’s say we were on an island here, and there’s no other influences, could we make this all work as a totally isolated little system of its own?” he asked.
“And we certainly can’t yet, but each year, we try to get closer.”
Page Springs Cellars doesn’t have a composting program yet, but that’s next, he said.
Glomski says he looks at the whole system of waste: what comes in and what leaves. He seeks to learn what he can do to balance it out. He’d like to recycle all of the waste on site, he said, but probably won’t ever be able to do that because of the glass.
Glomski thinks about how he could possibly recycle old wine bottles in the future by possibly sanitizing them and taking off the labels without harsh chemicals.
“I see us continuing not growing per se in size of volume, but growing in the lightness of our footprint,” he said.
He also can see having livestock on the property and even making cheese.
“There are so many things we could do,” said Glomski.
He said his biggest goal is making Page Springs Cellars a place where people are lining up to work because there is so much richness in experience, with a family and team that supports and nourishes potential.
“This is a team effort here. I’m only one person. And I don’t do much of the heavy lifting anymore. There’s a lot of really amazing people who are Page Spring Cellars, and I just happen to be a figure head.”
Glomski said business has to be a part of building community and fostering human evolution, and culture and those go hand-in-hand.
“I know that sounds like a lofty ideal. If you don’t have something to shoot for, what good is it all, you know?”