In September of 2019, we announced that 99% of the vineyard acreage in Sonoma County has been certified sustainable by a third-part certification body. This announcement garnered excitement, media attention and accolades, all well-earned by you, the incredible community of farmers here in Sonoma County.
Your commitment to farming sustainably, continual improvement, preserving agriculture for future generations and recognizing the value of certification has put Sonoma County on the map as the world’s most sustainable wine region – THANK YOU.
Read on to find additional information and resources for sustainability and Sonoma County’s continuing leadership in this realm. For more information on getting a vineyard certified, please contact Jennifer Richards at [email protected]
Climate Adaptation Certification
As we look toward the future and continue our leadership in sustainability,
Sonoma County Winegrowers has partnered with the California Land Stewardship Institute
to pilot agriculture's first Climate Adaptation Certification program for local winegrowers.
This program was designed by the California Land Stewardship Institute and Sonoma County's Winegrowers
will be the first to achieve certification. We believe local solutions are the key to global issues.
How it works
The Pilot Program In January 2020, the pilot program launched with 17 local vineyards. Each has its own land management program developed specifically to administer best practices which will maximize the sequestration of nitrous oxide and carbon emissions. The greenhouse gas reductions will be monitored, documented and shared. This will help us better understand the role of vineyards in mitigating climate change and identify specific agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.
The Goal The knowledge gained from the pilot program will help growers understand best practices for climate mitigation in vineyards. These learnings will be shared widely with other farmers and the general public in the hopes that other vineyards can adopt some of these best practice within their farming operations.
Sonoma County Sustainable Wine Label
The Sonoma County Sustainability logo for wine labels launched with the 2017 vintage. It is TTB-approved and is available in a variety of colors, intended to compliment existing wine branding. If you are interested in using the label, please read through the summary below and download and review all the documents. Contact Jennifer Richards at [email protected]
Wine brands interested in using the Sonoma County Sustainability logo must comply with all of the following requirements:
85% of the grapes in each bottle bearing the Sonoma County Sustainability logo must be certified sustainable grapes from Sonoma County. The grapes must be certified sustainable under one (or more) of the four accepted sustainability programs (Fish Friendly Farming, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, Sustainability In Practice, or Lodi Rules).
Sustainability certification must be active within the last two years.
Wine brands must be able to provide sustainability certification documentation from their growers in addition to internal documentation that tracks certified sustainable grapes throughout the wine making process: from crush, through storage and up to bottling. Wine brands bearing the label must commit to undergoing a Chain of Custody audit for each vintage and varietal(s) bearing the label. Wine brands and their processing facility must commit to participating in a random spot audit should they be selected.
Sonoma County Winegrowers must sign off on each label bearing the label to ensure adherence with brand guidelines, which can be found by clicking here. Labels, branding and questions about participation in our Augmented Reality app can be directed to Jennifer Richards [email protected]
We have wonderful sponsorship opportunities for wineries participating in the Sonoma County Sustainability logo program
The application and approval process is easy! Just follow these three steps:
Step 1Apply to use the sustainability logo on your label
The logo is a great signal to your customer that you are committed to sustainable winegrowing. The first step is using this label is simple: fill out the application, which you can find by clicking here.
Step 2Schedule your audit from Sonoma County Winegrowers
A representative from Sonoma County Winegrowers will visit the winery and perform a desk-side audit to ensure that at least 85% of your blend is from Sonoma County Sustainable winegrapes. A virtual audit can also be arranged.
Step 3Submit your label for marketing review and examine promotional opportunities
Work with our marketing department to ensure the logo meets simple brand guidelines (see link above to view). Then let's talk about participation in our Augmented Reality app and exposure with our key marketing programs for consumers, trade and media!
If you are interested in using the logo, please download, fill out and return the Sustainable Label Application.View Label Application
Annual Sustainability Reports
These annual reports were produced in partnership with the North Bay
Business Journal and distributed in every newspaper throughout Sonoma
County to more than 100,000 households. We hope you will celebrate our
efforts and join us in the bold initiative to help make Sonoma County the
best place to live, work, and do business!