Sonoma County Commits To Becoming The First 100% Sustainable Wine Region In The Nation In 2019
In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced it would become the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region. The Sonoma County Sustainability Program helps to preserve agriculture and multi-generational family farms. Sonoma County is largely comprised of family farmers who produce some of the world’s best grapes and wine and have done so for generations. More than 85% of Sonoma County’s vineyards are family owned and operated and it is estimated that 80% of the county’s vineyards are less than 100 acres and 40% are less than 20 acres. There are 495 wineries in the county with 70% of those producing less than 6,000 cases per year.
Sonoma County grape farmers and winemakers are dependent on a healthy environment to grow the best grapes that make the world class wines. Our grape growers and winemakers have long been at the forefront of creating and utilizing sustainable practices, so our commitment to 100% sustainability will ensure our businesses, our rural lifestyle and our agricultural heritage will be maintained for years to come. Every time a consumer purchases a bottle or glass of wine from Sonoma County, they can buy with confidence knowing it was produced in an environmentally-friendly way by passionate stewards of the land.
Sonoma County Sustainable Program
Sonoma County’s Winegrowers take a triple-bottom line approach to sustainable practices that measure grape growers’ commitment to being socially responsible in their relationships with their employees, neighbors, and community, environmentally conscientious with their farming and winery practices, and economically viable as a business.
The Sonoma County Sustainability Program includes four sustainability programs:
- California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing (CSWA)
- Fish Friendly Farming (FFF)
- Lodi Rules
- Sustainability In Practice (SIP)
For a vineyard to become sustainable growers must complete a self-assessment of each vineyard that includes a comprehensive set of 138 best practices, undergo an independent third-party audit and create an annual continuous improvement plan. The auditors, are environmental scientists, biologists, chemists, professors, geologists and other trained professionals.
In January of 2016, Governor Jerry Brown recognized the Sonoma County Winegrowers sustainability commitment and their progress with the awarding of California’s highest environmental honor, the Governors Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA).