Earth-friendly Practices Protect the Health of the Land, Communities and the Industry
SAN FRANCISCO — April is California Wines Down to Earth Month, an annual tribute to the California winemaking community’s decades-long commitment to sustainable winegrowing. Created by Wine Institute, the association of 1,000 California wineries, the month-long celebration highlights winery and business practices that ensure the health and vibrancy of the land, communities and the industry for generations to come.
While taking care of the environment is a key element of sustainability, promoting the well-being of employees and the community is equally important. Following California Governor Newsom’s statewide order for Californians to stay at home to help curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), California wineries have suspended all public tastings and events. While essential winery and vineyard production and business operations as well as purchase and pick-up of wine are permitted, this directive presents challenges for the state’s predominantly small, family-owned operations. However, vintners recognize that this is the right thing to do.
In previous years, California wineries have celebrated Down to Earth Month, now in its ninth year, by offering sustainability focused events across the state. This year, many of California’s sustainable wineries are offering special discounts on wine and shipping fees. Wine consumers can still enjoy their favorite California wines at home and support wineries during this challenging time by ordering from winery websites, purchasing and picking up at wineries or signing up for wine clubs.
Visit the Down to Earth Month page on Discover California Wines to see the latest offers.
California is a global leader in sustainable winegrowing and home to one of the world’s most widely adopted sustainable winegrowing programs in terms of both winegrape acreage and case production. As of 2019, 149 wineries producing more than 85% of California’s total wine production are Certified California Sustainable. See the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance website for lists of certified wineries, vineyards and wines. In terms of vineyards, 44% of statewide wine acreage is certified by Certified California Sustainable and by other state sustainability programs, including Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP). All of these programs play an important role in the California wine community’s efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically feasible.
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a nonprofit organization established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA promotes the benefits of sustainable practices, enlists industry commitment, implements the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, and administers Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing – a third-party certification program for California vineyards, wineries and wines that adheres to international sustainability standards.