Events and Activities Highlight Sustainable Winegrowing Around the State

DTE Logo Alexander Valley Vineyards Farm to Fork
Center: Alexander Valley Vineyards in Sonoma County is offering a “Down to Earth” vineyard hike April 16 to learn about sustainable winegrowing. Right: The Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend April 11-13 is at venues throughout San Luis Obispo County, including a Farm to Fork Dinner at Justin Vineyards.

SAN FRANCISCO — Whether you’re a fan of red wine or white, California is betting you’re going to love “green” too! This April, wine lovers can check out “green” wines at dozens of fun eco-friendly winery events and activities during the third-annual Down to Earth Month in California.

Created by Wine Institute—the association of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses—this month-long celebration raises awareness of California’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking. Wineries across the state will engage consumers, policy leaders, media and trade with sustainably focused festivities to learn about California wine’s eco-friendly practices and the people and places behind them. From Earth Day festivals and organic wine trails to dog-friendly vineyard hikes, wildlife talks, horseback rides and eco-tours, the state’s wineries will highlight what it means to be green this April.

“Our California Sustainable Winegrowing Program leads the world in comprehensiveness and size with wineries and vineyards that produce nearly three-quarters of California’s wine grapes and wine participating,” said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “Our wineries have created engaging events where consumers can learn about sustainable wine growing and winemaking. And once again, a state Senate and Assembly joint resolution proclaiming April as “Down to Earth” month in California has been introduced to celebrate the sustainable leadership of our wineries and wine grape growers.”
More than 10,000 California winegrowers and winemakers have taken part in educational workshops on sustainable winegrowing and winemaking since the program’s inception a decade ago, a remarkable scale of accomplishment as California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.

If you’re going to be in California at this special time, it’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of “green” wine and food at various events, such as:

North Coast

Mendocino County wineries are offering the “Party for the Planet 2014” April 18–26, where visitors will enjoy everything from dog hikes and local organic wine and food to beer tastings and lodging specials. From April 1-30 in northern Sonoma County, the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley offers a customized experience exploring the region’s certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries. Napa Valley’s Down to Earth with Napa Green Certified Wineries is a fun way to learn about green design, conservation and creative reuse as well as attend related tasting events April 18-20. Learn about more North Coast activities here.

San Francisco South Bay/Central Coast

San Luis Obispo County wineries are offering an Earth Day Food & Wine Festival on April 12 with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more.  Nearby the Taste of Pismo on April 26 will offer local, sustainably grown wine and edibles at Dinosaur Caves Park overlooking the ocean in Pismo Beach.

The Santa Cruz MountainsOrganic Wine Trail celebrates its earth-friendly wine region with organic wine trails, while the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day boasts many eco-friendly barrel samples and special tasting flights on April 19.  Livermore Valley wineries are highlighting “Down to Earth” tours and tastings on April 27, including guided tastings and organically farmed vineyard and winery tours where visitors can learn about energy conservation (some use solar power) and discover sustainable methods for pest, soil and plant management.

Inland Valley

Learn how vineyards are sustainably managed and 99% of the byproducts composted, reused or recycled during a Down to Earth Tour at Quady Winery in Madera County.  Afterwards, taste award-winning dessert wines and frozen Moscato drinks.

Southern California

SoCal features several individual events presented by wineries that are among 80-plus around the state that have earned Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through a third-party certification program launched by the California Sustainable Winegrowing AllianceFind out about these eco-focused winery events here!

Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities at And while you browse the site, enjoy a fun California Wines Green Tour video.

In addition to sustainability goals, California wine contributes $61.5 billion to the state’s economy, attracts more than 21 million tourists annually, generates 820,000 jobs nationwide of which 330,000 are in California, as vintners and growers keep their farms and wineries family owned for future generations.

California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices.  The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Code of best practices has been used by 1,800 wineries and vineyards to evaluate the sustainability of their operations, representing 72 percent of California’s winegrape acreage and 74 percent of the state’s wine shipments.  Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.  To learn more, visit:

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“Down to Earth” Events, Tours and Offers in California Wine Country

Check for updates as events are being added continuously.


Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: Noon – 5:00 pm
Cost: Tasting fees at participating wineries apply
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
Enjoy a special, customized experience in Dry Creek Valley to experience the area’s certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries.

Eco-Tour and Tasting
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 10:00 am, Monday – Thursday
Cost: $25.00 for two
Honig Vineyard and Winery, Napa Valley
707/963-5618 ext. 328,
Two for one Eco-Tour and Tasting. A walking tour of Honig’s sustainably farmed vineyard and tasting of four current release wines.

Down to Earth Month – Vineyard Hike (Reservations only)
April 16, 2014
Time: 10:30 am
Cost: $50 per person
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County
707/433-7209 ext. 113,
Join a grape-to-glass hike of the Wetzel Family Estate; taste wine from the barrel and enjoy a wine country picnic.

Mendocino County Party for the Planet 2014 (Earth Day)
April 18 – 26, 2014
Time: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Cost: Varies
County wide events, Mendocino County
Celebrate Earth Day, Mendocino County-style at the Third Annual Where the Earth IS First Festival.

Napa Green Earth Day Celebration
April 18 – 20, 2014
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies
Events throughout the county including special tours and an Earth Day festival, Napa Valley.

Earth Day Celebration
April 19, 2014
Time: 11 am – 2 pm
Cost: $60 public, $40 club members and their guests
Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma County
Celebrate Earth Day at the winery ranch with Bordeaux tastings and hors d’oeuvres. RSVP required.

“Party for the Planet” a Family Friendly Way to Celebrate Earth Day
April 19, 2014
Time: 11 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: Free
Parducci Wine Cellars, Mendocino County
Complimentary food & wine tastings, tours and farm animals. Over 25 local artisan food and farm providers with samples and demonstrations.  Jumpy tents and patio chalk painting.

AVV is Going to the Dogs
April 26, 2014
Time: 10 am
Cost: $25 per dog (includes up to four people)
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Sonoma County
707/433-7209 ext. 113,
Bring your favorite dog and help support Sonoma County Animal Care and Control with a relaxed walk through the vineyards to learn about sustainable winegrowing.

Saracina Vineyards’ Earth Day Dog Hike
April 26, 2014
Time: 10 am – 1:30 pm
Cost: $35 public, $25 club
Saracina Vineyards, Mendocino County
Join Saracina Vineyards’ hiking squad for a morning hike through Saracina Vineyards’ scenic 600-acre estate.

Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley
April 27, 2014
Time: Noon – 3:00 pm
Cost: $65
Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma County
Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley at an outdoor food & wine festival with keynote speaker Sandra Day O’Connor at Iron Horse Vineyards.


Down to Earth at Quady Winery
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 9 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Friday
Cost: No charge for groups under ten
Quady Winery, Madera County
Visit Quady Winery and take a tour of the facility. The winery composts, recycles or reuses close to 99% of its byproducts!


Craft Your Own Cork Keychain
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 11 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: Free
Murrieta’s Well, Livermore Valley
Visit the tasting room and be provided with all the materials to make your own cork keychain.

Eco-Ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains
April 5 – 26, 2014
Time: Saturdays, 10 am and 11 am
Cost: $179 for two
Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards and Silver Mountain Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Santa Cruz Mountains CCOF-certified organic winegrowers Cooper-Garrod and Silver Mountain are offering an “Eco-Ride” package that includes horseback rides, wine tasting, lunch and vineyard tour.

Sustainable Vine to Wine Class at Captain Vineyards
April 13, 2014
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Cost:$43 per person
Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County
Learn how to transform beautiful grapes to great wine in this vineyard based class.

Celebrate Earth Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains on the Organic Wine Trail
April 19, 2014
Time: Noon – 5:00 pm
Cost: Individual tasting fees apply
Silver Mountain, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, Alfaro Family Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Celebrate Earth Day in the Santa Cruz Mountains in organic vineyards with tours, wine tastings, picnicking and more.

Down to Earth Vineyard Tour
April 27, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm
Cost: Free
Bent Creek Winery, Livermore Valley
Join Bent Creek winegrower Tom Heineman for our Down to Earth Vineyard Tour and a discussion of grape growing during a time of drought.

Down to Earth
April 27, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm
Cost: Free
Concannon Vineyard, Livermore Valley
Free sustainability tour for guests at 2:00 pm. Visitors arriving at the tasting room via bicycle receive a complimentary wine flight.

Down to Earth in Livermore Valley
April 27, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm
Cost: Varies
Livermore Valley Wine Country, Livermore Valley
Livermore Valley Wine Country will celebrate Earth Day and Down to Earth month by hosting simultaneous eco-focused classes, walks and talks on Sunday, April 27th.

Down to Earth Day at McGrail: Sustainable Vineyard Tour
April 27, 2014
Time: 2 pm – 2:30 pm
Cost: $10
McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Livermore Valley
Enjoy a sustainable wine tour of our estate Cabernet Vineyard as you taste through award winning wines!

B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bottle)
April 27, 2014
Time: Noon – 4:30 pm
Cost: $5 tasting fee, $8.99 per bottle
Page Mill Winery, Livermore Valley
Bring in your old/clean 750 ml wine bottle and fill it up with our Recovery Red. For $8.99 per bottle we will fill, cork and label it with a delicious table wine.

Down to Earth Garden Tour
April 27, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Cost: Free
Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery, Livermore Valley
Tour winery gardens with Nancy Rodrigue and learn techniques that promote water conservation throughout the winery. Leave with a bulb to plant in your garden!


Celebrate Earth Day – Recycle Your Corks!
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 11 am – 6 pm
Cost: Complimentary with 20 corks
Riverbench Santa Barbara Tasting Room, Santa Barbara County
Visit the new tasting room and celebrate Down to Earth month by recycling your corks for a complimentary tasting.

Celebrate Earth Day – Recycle Your Corks!
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Cost: Complimentary with 20 corks
Riverbench Vineyard & Winery, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara County
Celebrate Down to Earth month by recycling your corks for a complimentary tasting at the winery.

Earth Day Food & Wine: Farm to Fork Dinner
April 11, 2014
Time: 5:30 pm – 10 pm
Cost: $175 per person
The Restaurant at JUSTIN, Paso Robles
Learn about JUSTIN’s biodynamic and sustainable winery practices and help pick fresh vegetables and herbs for dinner. Then sit back and enjoy a four-course, family-style dinner to be paired with several of JUSTIN’s stellar wines.

Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend
April 11 – 13, 2014
Time: 1 pm
Cost: $75 – $115
Venues throughout San Luis Obispo County
Cultivate your roots and enjoy the 8th Annual Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend, April 11-13, 2014

Sustainably-Farmed Vineyard Walk, Scavenger Hunt & Brunch
April 13, 2014
Time: 10:30 am
Cost: $35 public, $30 Club
Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
A walk through the hills and dales of this sustainably-farmed vineyard with Winemaker Karen Steinwachs and Soil Guru Stan Kadota.

Blending Seminar at Certified Organic Vineyard: Tablas Creek
April 26, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $30 for VINsiders and $40 for guests (2 guests maximum)
Tablas Creek Vineyard, Paso Robles
805/237-1231 ext. 30
Partner Jason Haas and winemaker Neil Collins will lead a barrel tasting of the individual varietals  and discuss the blending process. Participants will then produce their own blends

Taste of Pismo
April 26, 2014
Time: Noon – 4:00 pm
Cost: $50 per person, $25 designated driver
Dinosaur Caves Park, San Luis Obispo County
This outstanding event brings together delicious local food and superb central coast wineries – all in one exceptional location.

Wine4 Paws – Benefiting Woods Humane Society
April 26 – 27, 2014
Time: Check with individual wineries
Cost: Individual winery tasting fees
Wineries throughout San Luis Obispo County
Philanthropy is a key sustainable practice. Central Coast wineries are donating 2% of their sales this weekend to Woods Humane Society. Enjoy this beautiful wine region while supporting a great cause.


Celebrate Down To Earth Month at Palumbo Vineyards and Winery – Mini-Tour and Tasting
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: Call for times
Cost: $45
Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery, Temecula Valley
Take a mini-tour and tasting with Palumbo’s winemaker or assistant winemaker at a California certified-sustainable, artisanal wine estate

Down to Earth Month – Ponte Estate Winery Tour
April 1 – 30, 2014
Time: 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm
Cost: $25 public, $20 club
Ponte Estate Winery, Temecula Valley
Take a bus tour to see how Ponte makes its wines, and where the grapes are sustainably grown.

Earth Day Wine Tours at South Coast Winery
April 21 – 25, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Cost: $50 public, $45 club
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa, Temecula Valley
866/994-6379 ext. 7259
Celebrate Earth Day by getting up close and personal with the sustainable winegrowing standards of California’s State Winery of the Year.

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Editors: For event photos and a listing of all Down to Earth winery events by region, go to

Media Contact:
Wine Institute