California Ups the Ante on Sustainable Vineyard & Wine Production

SAN FRANCISCO — The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) released its third annual CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE Report, highlighting the growing number of California wineries and vineyards that are Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE). California remains the global leader in sustainable winegrowing practices, with one of the most widely adopted sustainable winegrowing programs in the world in terms of both winegrape acreage and case production.

As of December 2019, 149 wineries producing over 85% of California’s total wine production (255 million cases) and 2,097 vineyards farming 29% of statewide wine acreage (184,818 acres) are CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE.

Another 15% of California vineyard acreage is certified to other state sustainability programs, including Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) which all play an important role in the California wine community’s efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically feasible.

“The California wine community has shown that sustainable practices and certification can be scaled up and is applicable to vineyards and wineries of all sizes throughout the state. As the fourth largest wine producer in the world, this means significant benefits for the land, natural resources and communities—both now and for future generations,” said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of CSWA.

In 2019, CSWA’s third-party certification program had a 50% increase in the number of certified vineyards and a 4.2% increase in the number of certified wineries which already represents 85% of statewide production. View a list of current CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE vineyards, wineries and wines HERE.

CSWA launched CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE in 2010, creating a certification option for California growers and vintners that provides independent third-party verification of practices and other requirements. The certification program, developed and updated with extensive industry and stakeholder input, validates that stringent vineyard and winery requirements such as soil health, water and energy conservation, habitat preservation, natural pest control and other key sustainability areas are addressed.

The program was updated in 2017 to allow use of a new logo on labels for wine made in CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE wineries with 85% or more of grapes from certified vineyards (including CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE, Lodi Rules and SIP) and 100% from California. Wines from the 2017 vintage are the first to display the logo, and 972,174 cases of wine from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 vintages are available or coming soon to the marketplace (a 55% increase since the 2018 CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE Report).

View the CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE Annual Report HERE. Find the companion appendix, which includes more comprehensive reporting of the adoption of sustainable practices by certified vineyards and wineries, HERE.

To read more about sustainable winegrowing requirements for certification, visit the CSWA Certification page.

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