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Events, Food, Wine

Raise a Glass to Sustainability: California Wineries in Focus

April is Down to Earth Month, an ideal time to explore California wines grown and made with sustainable practices.

california wineries sustainability

Down to Earth Month is a celebration of California winegrowers’ commitment to sustainable practices. The California wine industry is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing. Did you know that a whopping 80% of wine from the Golden State is made in certified sustainable wineries? And 60% of the vineyards in California are certified sustainable! 

sustainability in the vineyard
Image courtesy of Visit California

You’re Invited

California wineries will be celebrating Down To Earth Month this April, so check our list of winery events and offers and join in the fun. Vineyard hikes, behind the scenes sustainability tours, wine pairings, tastings and more are all on the menu.

For those whose April plans do not include a visit to California wine country, there are still plenty of ways to salute the state’s sustainability leadership.

Join us in raising a glass to all the folks who are making California wine more green, from grapes to glass.

Cue the Applause

2024 Green Medal Awards

And the award goes to… all of the 2024 California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Award winners! LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyard (Leader award), Gloria Ferrer (Environment award), Cooper-Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms (Community award) and Vino Farms, LLC (Business award). The California Green Medal program, now in its 10th year, provides recognition to vineyards and wineries who are leaders in implementing the three Es of sustainability (environment, economic and social equity), inspiring others in the industry and highlighting the benefits of participating in a sustainability program. This year’s winners are showing us how it’s done, making eco-friendly, socially responsible and high-quality wines with the planet in mind. 

Eating Green

Pairing sustainable wines with climate-friendly recipes isn’t just about making tasty meals — it’s also about giving the planet a high five. Sourcing ingredients from your garden, community supported agriculture (CSAs), neighborhood produce stands or the local farmers market are all ways to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Climate-friendly recipes have health benefits too. Plant-based dishes, for example, produce fewer emissions than dishes that include animal products. Some of the most climate-friendly examples include fresh fruits and vegetables, mushrooms and whole grains such as beans, lentils and peas. Root vegetables require a small amount of water and growing space to produce, so potatoes, carrots and beets are all good bets. 

sustainable recipes

Environmentally friendly seafood options include farmed clams, oysters and mussels, responsibly farmed shrimp, Pacific cod, sustainably farmed and wild-caught salmon and trout. For updates, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch website at seafoodwatch.org.

When purchasing wine, check the label for sustainability certifications. The vast majority of California wine is made by wineries certified under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA)’s Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program, and many participating wineries display a “Certified California Sustainable” logo on their labels. 

certified sustainable logo on bottle

Other sustainable winegrowing certifications include LODI RULES, Napa Green, SIP Certified and Regenerative Organic Certified®, in addition to Biodynamic and Organic.

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or you just enjoy a good glass of wine from time to time, support sustainable sipping, especially during Down to Earth Month. Visit californiasustainablewine.com to find the perfect pour of certified, sustainably produced California wines. 

Sustainable Wines & Delectable Dishes for Earth Month

When we choose sustainable wine and climate-friendly recipes, like the ones below, we’re helping do our part to ensure a healthier planet for generations to come. Cheers to going green, one delicious sip at a time. 

Fish Tacos with Radish Avocado Relish

Crunchy radishes, buttery avocados and tangy feta cheese are an inspired accent for fresh cod.

Pair the tacos with California sparkling wine or Sauvignon Blanc.

fish tacos

Farmers Fried Rice

This colorful vegetarian bowl can be made with almost any fresh veggies you have on hand, making it the perfect spring or summer time meal.

The dish pairs perfectly with chilled California rosé.

Fried Rice

Shaved Asparagus and Arugula Salad with Ricotta Salata 

Made with raw, shaved asparagus and peppery arugula, the beautiful salad sings of spring and comes together in minutes.

Enjoy it with a California Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. 

Arugula Salad

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream and Honey Walnuts 

Invite ripe peaches to the dinner table by grilling them and serving the fruit over ice cream.

Pair the dessert with a sweet California Muscat or late-harvest Riesling to complement the honeyed flavors of the dish. 

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