WINE NEWS: California Wine Association Launches Sustainability Certification Green Plan
January 25, 2010
California wines will soon have to pass a test of sorts before they can call themselves "green." The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), established by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, recently announced the introduction of a statewide certification program that provides third-party verification of a winery or vineyard's adherence to sustainable winegrowing practices. Officials at the Wine Institute are starting a program that outlines the measures growers and winemakers must take to call themselves "sustainable." To be eligible for the program, participants must meet a set of prerequisites which includes practices that protect air and water quality, conserve water, promote energy efficiency and reduced pesticide use, and preserve ecosystems and animal habitat, among many others. The goals of the new certification program are to encourage statewide participation and advance the entire California wine industry toward best practices in environmental conservation and socially responsible business practices. Three years in the making, the certification program is the first statewide program available to both wineries and vineyards.