I found out that there is dynamic US and global interest and action around sustainability in the wine industry. For instance, the United Nations Climate Action page features a story about the California vineyard, Fetzer.
Fetzer Vineyards is credited as a leader in sustainable practices by growing 100% organically in their Mendocino vineyards since the 1980s, becoming the first Zero Waste certified wine company in the world, and the first winery in California to operate on 100% renewable energy. Fetzer has also been certified as a carbon neutral operation and is a Certified B Corp. (https://unfccc.int/climate-action/momentum-for-change/climate-neutral-now/net-positive-wine)
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance is an organization that supports growers in environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The Alliance sponsors green leadership awards, and provides a guide to the many certified vineyards. (https://californiasustainablewine.com/find)
Here in Virginia, wineries are also attentive to land stewardship and environmental responsiveness. Just two examples are Sunset Hills Vineyards and DuCard Vineyards; they both use the same sun that ripens the grapes to power their buildings. DuCard was recognized as the “Greenest Winery in Virginia” by SAVOR Virginia magazine.
Internationally, Porto Protocol Foundation is a non-profit originating in the wine industry with hundreds of members committed to being catalysts for climate action “by bringing together a network of change makers and workable climate solutions for and within the wine world.” (https://www.portoprotocol.com/about-us/)
Alex Katz is an innovator who started Protector Cellars (https://www.protectorcellars.com/); he looks at every aspect of the industry and production process, asking “how can I do better from a carbon impact standpoint without negatively impacting the quality of the wine?”
The complex issue of sustainability in the wine industry is center stage worldwide as growers are taking their environmental impact seriously. They know that the future of their vines, vintages, people and industry depend on learning to respect and care for the gifts of creation.
Before I buy my next bottle, I think I’ll look a bit more closely into vineyard practices. Cheers!