Communities and employees are critical aspects of sustainability and as important as environmentally sound winegrowing practices. A productive and satisfied workforce helps the California wine industry strengthen the communities in which it operates. With the state’s rigorous laws and regulations as a starting point, California’s vintners and growers do much more to protect employee welfare and the environment.
At California wineries both large and small, employee training and development is widely used to enhance skill levels and educate and motivate employees. Examples include service training for tasting room personnel, equipment operation for winery and vineyard workers and leadership seminars for supervisory staff. Many wineries develop training programs around sustainability practices for their entire staff. Of course there are numerous opportunities to learn about wine and food!
From comprehensive safety training and safety audits and investigations to bonuses for achieving safety goals, California wineries take employee safety very seriously. Mandatory and volunteer training for winery, vineyard, office and tasting room workers routinely focuses on areas such as safely operating farm and winery equipment, avoiding accidents and injuries, administering first aid and avoiding heat or other stress.
As part of an established industry that attracts thousands of employees, California wineries work hard to provide positive workplaces that develop, motivate and retain high quality personnel. Common practices include employee training, team building activities, career development coaching, educational opportunities and providing the right tools and equipment.
In addition to embracing environmental practices, California vintners and growers understand that supporting the communities in which they live and operate is an important principle of sustainability and the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing. Wineries are actively involved in identifying community needs, spearheading charitable undertakings and backing a wide array of community services.
Wine-related events such as auctions, festivals and winemaker dinners raise millions of dollars for charitable and nonprofit organizations annually. Across the country, California vintners donate to and participate in hundreds of events that support education, health care, the arts, animal care, disaster relief efforts, environmental causes and much more. It is estimated that at least $101.5 million is raised annually by California’s wine and grape industry for philanthropy.
Many California growers and vintners plant only a portion of their property; the rest is left as open space, offering habitat for wildlife and preserving the natural beauty of the environment. Growers and vintners throughout the state have also donated land or provided easements to land trusts and other organizations to ensure that land will be used for agriculture or kept as open space forever.
Housing & education
Individually and through regional associations and ad hoc groups, California vintners provide direct support to farm workers and their families. In addition to donating land and money for permanent and seasonal housing, California vintners raise millions of dollars for farmworker health care, education, transportation and social services.
Quality of life
Up and down the state, California’s diverse wine regions offer unforgettable rural vistas, small town charm, renowned restaurants and, of course, some of the finest wines in the world. As leaders in sustainable farming and winemaking practices who are committed to preserving open space and promoting cultural activities, California’s vintners contribute significantly to the quality of life in the communities in which they operate.
Culture & lifestyle
Musical performances, art exhibits, gardens, wine education seminars, cooking classes–these are just a few of the cultural offerings and activities you’ll find at California wineries throughout the state. Finding out what’s happening in various regions is easier than ever by accessing the “Events” section of this website.
One of the great pleasures of visiting or living in California’s wine country is being able to enjoy the natural beauty each region has to offer. Breathtaking vineyard vistas are part of the attraction. Pastoral landscapes in the form of grasslands, forests and mountainous areas, much of it owned by vintners and growers who choose to preserve it as open space, are also part of the appeal.
California’s tasting rooms are plentiful and diverse, offering numerous settings for tasting, learning about and enjoying California’s equally diverse wines. Many wineries offer opportunities to enjoy wines with food, and some even have restaurants. Other wine country attractions include bike and hiking trails, local food purveyors, concert and retail venues and restaurants.
As a signature industry for the state, California wine generates jobs and revenues in rural and urban communities and tourism that supports local retailers, restaurants and hotels, contributing significantly to the state’s economy.
Approximately 21 million tourists visit California’s wine regions annually, a boon to local economies and small businesses throughout the state.
The California wine industry generates 820,000 jobs in the U.S, with 300,000 of those in California. The industry accounts for $25.8 billion in U.S. wages, $12.3 billion in state wages, and $14.7 billion in state and federal taxes.
California wineries and vineyards are predominantly family businesses with a long-term commitment to the health and vitality of their communities and to preserving the land for future generations.