Sustainable Winegrowing


Feedsee Wine : Sustainable Winegrowing : Green practices sensitive to the environment and society at large increased in California

Sustainable winegrowing is centered around a long-term approach to wine production that focuses on environmental stewardship, economic profitability, and social equity. This approach integrates three main goals into its principles: environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.

In 2006, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance reported a 24 percent increase since 2004 in the number of California wineries and vineyard businesses working to adopt practices that were sensitive to the environment and society at large. Winegrowers increased their performance for 31 of 38 pest management criteria by nearly eight percent. The second edition of a best management practices self-assessment workbook was released. Growers and vintners assessed and reported their viticultural and wine production practices, using fourteen workbook chapters of 227 types of sustainable practices. The program provided participants confidential, customized reports to compare their practices with regional and statewide results in order to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. "As farmers and landowners, we love the land and are ever mindful of environmental impacts. Exhausted soils and misuse of the land and waters contribute to less productive vineyards. Environmental stewardship comes naturally because it makes sense for our business, for our family, and for our community," said Randy Lange of LangeTwins Wine Estates.

Here are some of the principles and benefits of sustainable winegrowing:

Principles of sustainable winegrowing

  1. Environmental Stewardship: This includes practices like managing water use efficiently, minimizing the use of pesticides and fertilizers, promoting biodiversity (like preserving habitats for beneficial insects), reducing waste, and encouraging the use of renewable resources.
  2. Economic Profitability: Vineyards and wineries should be economically viable operations. Practices that reduce costs (like water or energy efficiency) or improve product quality can contribute to this goal.
  3. Social Responsibility: This includes providing safe and fair working conditions, being a good neighbor and active community member, and striving for continuous improvement in all areas of operation.

Benefits of sustainable winegrowing

  1. Improved Wine Quality: Sustainable practices can lead to healthier vineyards and higher quality grapes, which often results in better wines. For example, good canopy management can improve grape quality by ensuring adequate sunlight and air circulation.
  2. Cost Savings: Many sustainable practices can result in cost savings over time. For example, efficient water use and energy use can reduce utility bills, and reducing waste can lower disposal costs.
  3. Risk Mitigation: Sustainable winegrowing can help mitigate risks associated with regulatory issues, climate change, water scarcity, and other environmental challenges.
  4. Market Differentiation: As consumers become more interested in sustainability, wineries that practice sustainable winegrowing can differentiate themselves in the market and appeal to these consumers.
  5. Preservation of the Land for Future Generations: By taking care of the land and natural resources, sustainable winegrowing ensures that future generations will also be able to grow grapes and make wine.
  6. Improved Worker Safety and Satisfaction: Sustainable winegrowing practices often promote a safer and more satisfying workplace, which can lead to lower turnover, reduced worker's compensation claims, and a more engaged workforce.

Sustainable winegrowing is a holistic approach that benefits not only the environment but also the bottom line and social fabric of the communities where vineyards and wineries operate. It is a proactive approach that considers the long-term impact of wine production.