California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) has released its first annual Certified Sustainable Report, highlighting the 127 wineries and 1,099 vineyards in California that are Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. In 2017, the certification program saw a 46% growth in the number of certified vineyards and 20% growth in the number of certified wineries.
“The commitment to sustainability by California growers and vintners is truly impressive,” says Allison Jordan, CSWA’s Executive Director. “This new report details examples of their high level of commitment. CSWA has publicly shared results since the inception of the program and this report advances the transparency we believe is critical for a credible certification program.”
California remains a global leader in sustainable winegrowing practices. Through participation in the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, the state has one of the most widely adopted sustainable winegrowing programs in the world in terms of wine acreage and case production.
Sustainability in Numbers
As of November 2017, 127 wineries producing more than 74% (211 million cases) of California’s total wine production and 1,099 vineyards farming 134,000 acres (about 22% of statewide wine acreage) are certified sustainable. Another 10% of California vineyard acreage is certified to other programs in the state, including Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green, and Sustainability in Practice (SIP). These programs 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.
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 during a three-year period with extensive industry and stakeholder input, validates that stringent vineyard and winery requirements such as soil health, water and energy conservation, habitat preservation 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 wineries with 85% or more of grapes from certified vineyards (including Certified Sustainable, Lodi Rules and SIP) and 100% from California. The first wines to feature the logo will begin appearing in the market early this year. CSWA has already received Wine Label Notification Forms for nearly 200,000 cases of California wine for the 2017 vintage.