The Sustainable Winegrowing Movement

Sustainable Winegrowing

As today's consumer becomes more focused on what is on the table, the wine community is taking a proactive approach to address their environmental impact by adopting and implementing the Sustainable Winegrowing practice. While they respond to the pressures of the market, these farmers are demonstrating that they are responsible neighbors and committed stewards of the land they work. They are also committed to paying a living wage to their employees, actively promoting environmentally friendly practices, and participating in the communities around them. Here are a few of the great organizations helping promote these practices and logos you should be on the look out for on our local store shelves.

SIP Certified

Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified is one of the wine industry’s oldest and most important third-party programs. It utilizes a block-to-bottle, integrated approach to management, enabling farmers, wineries and winemakers to preserve the environment and protect human resources. SIP Certified boasts strict, non-negotiable requirements and standards based on science, expert input, independent verification, transparency and the absence of conflict of interest. SIP Certified launched its pilot program in 2008 with 3,700 acres of vines between Monterey and Santa Barbara counties. Today, there are 43,600 acres of vines in California and Michigan and more than 36 million bottles of wine that have been SIP Certified.

SIP Certified

Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery

Introduced in 2010 by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE is a statewide certification program that provides third-party verification that a winery and/or vineyard adopts and implements stringent sustainable winegrowing requirements based on the industry’s code of best practices, and commits to continuous improvement in those areas. In addition, all certified vineyards and wineries must demonstrate improvement in their sustainable practices on an annual basis. The continuous improvement requirement is based on the understanding that sustainability is a journey, not a destination and that no matter where a particular vineyard or winery is with their sustainability, incremental improvements to increase their efficiency, reduce resource use, or improve processes can always be made. Continuous improvement shows long-term commitment to sustainability and a willingness to find ways to increase efficiencies and conserve resources.

Certified California Sustainable Vineyard and Winery

Certified Green (The Lodi Rules)

Created by California farmers and accredited by world-renowned scientists, LODI RULES is America’s original sustainable winegrowing program. The winegrowers in Lodi are true pioneers. In 1991, farmers came together to form an organization - still going strong today - called the Lodi Winegrape Commission. The Lodi Winegrape Commission was created by putting all egos aside to improve farming for everyone in the community. Their motto is JFK’s famous quote: “The rising tide lifts all the boats.”

Lodi Rules

LIVE Certified (Low Input Viticulture and Enology)

LIVE's certification programs are based on international standards of Integrated Production (IP). Throughout the year, highly skilled viticulturalists, winemakers, university researchers, and environmental partners meet to build regional input into these standards. Each year we send our standards for accreditation by the IOBC, a group of applied researchers who have been widely recognized for 60 years for their work in sustainable systems.

LIVE Certified

Salmon Safe

Salmon-Safe has become one of the nation’s leading ecolabels with more than 95,000 acres of farm and urban lands certified in Oregon, Washington, California and British Columbia. Through peer-reviewed certification and accreditation programs, they are leading the movement to implement farming practices and developments that protect water quality, maintain watershed health and restore habitat in the Pacific Northwest.

Salmon Safe

International Programs

American connsumers are not the only group of wine lovers who are focused on Sustainable Winegrowing practices. Some regions and even whole countries are joining the global movement on sustainablity

Environmental Management System (ISO 14001 / ISO 14004)

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) based on the ISO 14001 & ISO 14004 standards are recognized worldwide as a superb methodology for reducing environmental hazards, maintaining regulatory compliance and as a cost-saving vehicle. Environmental management system internal auditors assist an organization in maintaining an effective EMS and in meeting environmentally sensitive targets and objectives. Using environmental methodology and tools, this EMS internal auditor class helps your organization drive continuous improvement. The guidance in these International Standards can help an organization to enhance its environmental performance, and enables the elements of the environmental management system to be integrated into its core business process. These standards help an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provides value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties. Consistent with the organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include: enhancement of environmental performance, fulfilment of compliance obligations, & achievement of environmental objectives.

EMS

Integrity & Sustainability Certified

Sustainable Wine South Africa is an alliance between the Wine and Spirit Board’s Wine of Origin and Integrated Production of Wine schemes, WWF-SA Conservation Champion programme and Wines of South Africa. Together these organisations are driving the South African wine industry's commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly production. A certification seal appears on each container of wine or estate brandy which has been certified by the Wine and Spirit Board. This seal is a guarantee of origin, vintage and variety as stated on the wine label. It is also a guarantee that the wine complies with IPW criteria. Prior to the advent of democracy, the South African wine industry was controlled by a monopoly. This strict control meant that an efficient bureaucracy ensured that industry regulations were followed by producers. Since 1994, the industry has been totally deregulated but the best of the old systems have been retained.

Integrity & Sustainability Certified

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand

The Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme is based on continuous improvement and adherence to recommendations and guidelines issued by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). The program ensures members meet international standards for sustainability practices while helping the environment, businesses and local communities to thrive. It was introduced commercially in 1997 and adopted by grape growers across the country’s winegrowing regions. Sustainable winery certification standards were established in 2002 and adopted by New Zealand wineries, closing the circle on the industry’s sustainability commitment.

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand

Sustainable Australia Winegrowing

The Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) Program is the result of a series of initiatives developed by McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association (MVGWTA) since the early 2000’s. These initiatives were developed with the objective to improve viticultural practices, fruit quality and financial viability in the region. Among others, the initiatives included seminars and workshops, a growers’ bulletin (CropWatch) providing information and pest and disease alerts for the region from weather monitoring stations, field days and research trials. Sustainable Australia Winegrowing was developed to maximise growers and regional overall sustainability, and aims to minimise environmental impacts. The data capture and reporting provides growers with the best management tool to demonstrate their performance against their regional peers and recognised best practice.

Sustainable Australia Winegrowing

Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol

Bodegas de Argentina, an association of Argentine wineries, launched its Wine and Viticulture Sustainability Protocol in November 2012, developed in partnership with the Catena Institute of Wine. Bodegas de Argentina is an association of 254 wineries, representing 90% of Argentine wine production. Laura Catena, founder of the Catena Institute of Wine, brought this idea to Bodegas de Argentina along with the idea of using the California CCSW as a model. Also Bodegas de Argentina was convinced that the natural environment of California is closest to theirs, so many practices can be compared. In 2015 the Sustainability Commission of Bodegas de Argentina added provisions and requirements to the sustainability protocol for certification. And in June 2015 Bodegas Esmeralda (Catena Zapata) received the certification becoming the first sustainable certified Argentine winery, after passing an audit by SGS Argentina.* Annual audits will be required to maintain the certification.

Bodegas de Argentina Sustainability Protocol


Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile

The Sustainability Code is a voluntary instrument, designed to incorporate sustainable practices in the wine industry, based on requirements in three complementary areas: green, red and orange. Its objective is that grape growers and winemakers improve their management through compliance with the requirements stipulated in the standard. In order for a winery to obtain its certification, it must pass the three areas separately.

Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile
 
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