Sustainable Wineries

“Last night I had a salad for dinner. It was fruit salad. It had grapes…lots of grapes…it was mostly grapes. It was wine.”

While enjoying your favorite glass of red or white “fruit salad” have you ever pondered the environmental impact of getting wine from the soil to your glass?

For this blog, we’ll take a look at three locations around North America that are renowned for their wine and the environmental efforts that are making the wine industry more sustainable.

After all, wine is just “win” with an “E” on the end.

Napa Green

Napa Valley California

A comprehensive, voluntary environmental program for wineries and vineyards located in Napa Valley, Napa Green offers two certification methods that ensure greener operations and the environmental protection of land.

Grape growers located in the valley can turn their properties into Napa Green Certified Land, which shows a commitment to restore, protect and enhance the regional watershed on farmed land. This certification also ensures sustainable agricultural practices that protect wildlife habitats and rivers.

Currently, there are 65,000 acres of land currently certified or pending certification.

The second certification method is to become a Napa Green Certified Winery. By getting this Napa Green endorsement it guarantees that wineries are compliant with environmental practices including waste reduction, pollution prevention, as well as the conservation of energy and water.

Nearly 5 million cases of wine are produced by Napa Green Certified wineries annually, here’s a comprehensive list of participating wineries enrolled in the program.

Did one of your favorites make the list?

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)

Wine Bottles

Founded in San Francisco in 2001, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Institute was initiated by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers with the goal to promote sustainable wine-making practices and get more industry involvement in environmental initiatives.

The CSWA has excellent resources for wineries looking to lower their environmental impact including an online self-assessment, various workshops, as well as the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook. The comprehensive tome covers green tips for every facet of winemaking from soil management, waste management, conservation, and energy efficiency to Human Resources practices and sustainable business strategies.

By adopting these environmental goals within their business operations ensures that California wineries will continue operating for years to come.

Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia (SWBC)

Kelowna British Columbia

Further up the west coast in the temperate climate of western Canada, the British Columbia Wine Grape Council has created a free sustainability program for grape growers called Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia.

Members of the SWBC ensure the future of the B.C. Wine Industry by lowering their environmental impact using various sources and self-assessments. Membership allows wineries to create personal action plans, sharing their results in a supportive network of like-minded individuals and businesses. Members also receive access to dynamic education tools and annual sustainability reports on the British Columbia Wine Industry.

While Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia is only a voluntary, self-assessment program, third party evaluation and certification will be offered down the road ensuring the validity of the programs high sustainability standards.

Sustainable Winemaking Ontario

Ontario Wine Grapes

The Wine Council of Ontario has developed an award winning program called Sustainable Winemaking Ontario: An Environmental Charter for the Wine Industry with the goal to inspire wineries around Ontario to look at the daily impact of their operations from not only an environmental standpoint but also from a social and economic perspective.

Sustainable Winemaking Ontario draws from a huge well of industry knowledge and experience, laying out guidelines for best practices on all aspects of the winemaking process, “from soil to shelf”. The program received recognition from the Minister of the Environment’s Award of Environmental Excellence due to its comprehensive approach to sustainability and ensuring Ontario’s success on the world stage of wine-making.

Enjoying a nice glass of wine knowing the process to get it from the field to your glass had a minimal impact on the environment? Let’s cheers to that!