This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
By Courtney Christy 8/9/12
Napa Valley Winery
What is wine sustainability?
Could this just be a fancy term for more expensive wine? Not necessarily. According to the LoCA Wine Club's website, there are the three big E's of sustainability. Environment is the first; making sure the earth and soil are good and ready for winemaking. The second is equitability (society); making sure you have the resources and money to maintain a sustainable environment along with any people that are involved. The third and last E would be economical. This considers the costs of continuing and maintaining the sustainability program. In the end, economics are going to determine whether a certain winery can even be sustainable or not. The American Agronomy Society's definition states that sustainable agriculture does improve the environment quality greatly where agriculture depends on sustainability. Sustainable agriculture creates a world that is economically liveable and makes life better for farmers and the community. Also this provides food and fiber for us people. According to the website Wine & Food Travel, wine sustainability must consider all aspects of wineries (not just the outside vineyard). Considering: - How fertile the soil is
- Water pollution
- Whether or not to use pesticides - Soil erosion (soil blown or washed away by rain) - Taste of the wine
S u s t a i n a b i l i t y
With considering the environment as a whole while creating sustainable wine there are choices that have to be made. Manmade products or natural products could be used and some sort of pest management technique needs to be implemented. Sustainable wine could be made with or without preservatives (sulfur, antioxidants, and antimicrobial agents). The alcohol content, acid, pH, tannins, climate, and the actually winemaking process has an affect on how wine ages. In conclusion, according to the site Adams Wine Guide by Adam Weiner, sustainability farms recycle, use little energy and water, re-use resources, and focus on using very little chemicals.
Wine sustainability comes down to three categories: organics, biodynamics, and terroir.
In the book Authentic Wine, with organic farming, growers of course love their farms and only want the best for their soil. The soil is everything with organics, especially with maintaining the organic mineral ions which promotes healthy growth. Organics is a new style of farming but it does go back to the ways of old farming from the pre-industrial era. The farmers now see the soil in a different light and treat it more carefully (Goode, pg 51). Organic farming is more expensive than regular or sustainable farming because this takes more effort and thought (Goode, pg 53). At the Wine Spectator website organics is identified as just absolutely no chemicals. Wine sustainability farming can use chemicals but does not have to. With organic labels on wine bottle you see in the markets, there are two kinds. One is certified organic grown grapes with no synthetics. The other is "organic" wines from organically grown grapes (Vinifera).
In Authentic Wine, this discusses biodynamics as organic farming plus extra practice and philosophy (Goode, pg 50). The main focus being on the priority of health for the vineyard. Keeping the vines are the emphasis so the worry of disease is decreased (Goode, pg 57). Even though biodynamics is very good for the earth and surrounding environment, this is an expensive way to farm. Biodynamics is a way of life and a way of thinking. You must see the farm as a whole where everything is connected from vegetables, grapes, herbs, animals, and anything else that may be there. Various different preparations are needed to continue biodynamics (Goode, pg 56). While discussing and reading about biodynamics, according to the site and magazine Wine Spectator, the main topic is they use no chemicals at all. The whole vineyard is equal to an ecosystem. They also account for astronomy and lunar cycles (Vinifera).
Terroir is the concept of the unifying theory of fine wine. An example that might make it easier to understand is to have a solo grape variety planted in three or four different spots. Treat and handle them all the same way and they will all taste different. This happens because of the different spots of soil and the local climate where the grape was planted (Goode, pg 19). A good quote to understand is, "The universal premise underlying the concept of terroir- the simple truism we've already described- is that vineyard differences can affect the flavour of wine (Goode, pg 19)." The sense of terroir can be destroyed by too much human intervention. This can happen by late harvesting, drawn out maceration (the grape skins crushed and left with the juice before fermentation), and lots of new oak used.
Video link: http://www.wineinstitute.org/resources/pressroom/09082009 Highlights California Sustainable Winegrowing Presented in San Francisco
When your winery has certification, it can be used as a marketing tool to attract consumers (Goode, pg 88). CALIFORNIA: On the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance website, it tells all about the process of getting certified, any prerequisites, and guidelines. Through them you can get a CCSW certification meaning a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing certification. Here is the process: 1. Determine what to certify (entire winery or only part) 2. Submit your application and fee 3. Do the self assessment (check that all requirements are met) 4. Choose priority areas & plans of action 5. Contract third party auditor 6. Prepare for auditor 7. Conduct on-site audit 8. Review audit report 9. Correct anything needed 10. Auditor will recommend certification status 11. CSWA review panel accepts or declines certification 12. Certification awarded & can use as marketing for your winery 13. Annually submit self assessment & action plans 14. Show winery improvement Another California example for certification is SIP certified. SIP stands for Sustainability in Practice. This organization is about keeping the vines fantastic, healthy vineyards, and the good being of workers. This program before certifying a winery looks at a majority of items first. 1. H2O conservation 2. Energy efficiency 3. Air quality 4. Habitat conservation 5. Business stability 6. Social responsibility The website is http://www.sipcertified.org/ which has more information.
OREGON: According to Wine Speculator, the article "Oregon Launches Statewide Certification for Sustainable Wine" by Nigro, the Oregon wine board has created its own certification for wine. They guarantee that with a bottle of wine carrying their logo, the wine has been made by environmental agricultural practices, responsible winemaking practices, and it was verified by a third party, independent certifying agency. For wine to have the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) certification, the wine must be made from 97% certified grapes (only grown in Oregon).
Napa Valley Certified Organic
After consulting the Wine Institute, California is the fourth producer in the world right behind Italy, France, and Spain. California is able to produce so many wines because the state is so large with lots of climates and soils. In the US, the sunny state produces 90% of our wines. When practicing sustainability, CA uses lots of little animals to keep pest problems away like owls, falcons, bats, chickens, and sheep. The most drunk wine is Chardonnay. After that Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, White Zinfandel, and Pinot Grigio are popular.
With the greatness of Washington, wines from here are generally made in Eastern WA. Washington State wine website states that wineries are able to get 17 1/2 hours of sun per day; rarely cloudy. Eastern WA had the highest latitude wine region; this part of the state is dry enough unlike western Washington. The water is great because eastern WA gets the mountain river runoffs like from the Columbia River, the Rockies, and the Blue Mountains. What also helps is underground aqua filters and the most common is a drip irrigation system. There are also dramatic diurnal shifts in Washington that mean between the day and night, there is a 40 degree different. This is a great thing because the ripe sugars in the grapes are balanced and it develops a crisp acidity. Overall, the whole Washington state has so many different climates, around eight, which make it an ideal place to harvest grapes. The oldest vines are just beginning their third decade so over time they will just get better.
Here the main certification program is OCSW as discussed in the previous page. For the wine here to be certified, the grapes must be 97% certified grapes. Under the OCSW, LIVE (Low-Input Viticulture and Enology) is the main certification body which requires two years of farming. According to the site, Oregon Wine (www.oregonwine. org), a philosophy that Oregon stands behind is, "And the benefits are two-fold: the practices are gentle on the earth and many winemakers believe they result in brighter, more flavorful wine that better reflect the characteristics of the land from which they are grown."
Trefethen Winery Napa, CA
Want to get involved? It's EASY
UC Davis, California
-You could be a student enrolled in one of three programs in the Viticulture & Enology department. The first is a bachelor's degree. Classes that are required include: Biology & Microbiology, Chemistry, Plant science, Math & Physics, Viticulture & Enology, Economics & Business -You could also obtain a Certificate in Winemaking (online degree). This is a five quarter program with classes being: Intro to Wine & Winemaking Wine Production Quality Control Wine Stability Viticulture -The last is the Wine Executive program. This is aimed at middle and senior managers from wineries and vineyards to help them grow their business. The program is an intensive four days running all day; around 15 courses by different UC Davis faculty. This program is only certain days out of the year; not offered all the time.
Walla Walla Valley Vinea
This group is made up of voluntary winegrowers. Their mission is to take care of the land with viticultural practices, maintain natural resources around, and support biodiversity. The goal for their community is to enhance the image of Walla Walla Valley wines and make known that Walla Walla is a leader in sustainable viticulture. The fees are as follows: Winegrowers- $15/acre per year $200 contribution minimum $2,500 contribution/year maximum Wineries- membership $100/year Associates- membership $100/year
Conscious Wine is all about wine lovers coming together and informing the public about wine. This website started in March 2008 and to be involved you can subscribe to a mailing list. There are four principles that Conscious Wine lives by; organically grown grapes, sustainably farmed, creating vital products, and wines that taste great. On the site there is a blog full of knowledge, radio podcasts, videos, and a shop. Here's a video link with great videos especially, Biodynamic Certification, Natural Winemaking, & Being A Natural Farmer
R o b e r t
M o n d a v i
C e n t e r
California Wine Institute
This institute group began in 1934 and still going strong today. Members that are involved are California wineries and businesses. The institutes promotes enhancement for the environment for the sake of wine. Also they educate public policy leaders and create public awareness to make the right choices. Programs have been created to promote and teach about wine. Social Responsibility Program: prompts good wine usage and reduce alcohol problems International Program: helps wineries export to overseas markets Sustainable Winegrowing California First International Trade & Marketing The main office is in San Francisco and others in Sacramento, Washington D.C., 6 US regions, and 7 foreign countries. So why would you want to join this Institute? This can expand your market thus improving your business. Whether you have a voice in the wine industry or not, this can give you an added benefit; a stronger voice. Plus you will receive discounts and workshops you can attend. You must be a licensed winegrower or own/lease a bonded winery or cellar. Here is the brochure for the Wine Institute: http://www.wineinstitute.org/node/632
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
This is a San Francisco based non-profit organization. Mainly this is for wine growers and vintners which are wine merchants. This group has workshops that help wineries and vineyards do self-assessment tests on their wineries. The self-assessment tests to see how sustainable your winery is. The Winegrowing Alliances goal is to assist with two to three winery workshops for each California region per year. There are also Education Events throughout California with topics like Water Quality and Ecosystems Management. A Sustainable Winegrowing Program was created by The Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers in 2002. A certification program also exists called Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. This certification focuses on moving the wine industry forward.
Trefethen Winery, Napa, CA ----->
The Wonderful World of Wine
Helpful site: http://www.winespectator.com/ -Wine region maps -Grape varieties -Wine terms -How wine is made video series Another site: http://www.wineinstitute. org/resources/winefactsheets -About different types of California wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Syrah, and much more. -To keep pests away 3. Crushing/pressing: The clusters of grapes are crushed by machine for red and white wine. Using a mechanical machine it improves the quality. An option is to let the grapes ferment before being crushed; letting the skins burst open. With white grapes, you must press them a second time to get rid of the skin, seeds, and solids so there is no extra color. With red grapes, you do want the skin to stay on longer for color and flavor. 4. Fermentation: If left alone, the grapes will begin fermenting around 6-12 hours with wild yeasts in the air. Some winemakers choose to kill the yeast in the air and introduce their own yeast that they prefer. If you want dry wine, then you let all the sugar convert to alcohol. This takes approximately 10 day to 1 month. If sweet wine is what you want, then the fermentation should stop before all the sugar has been turned into alcohol. 5. Clarification: The wine must be moved now to a different tank or barrel to remove any solids along with it being filtered. The next processes is fining to clarify the wine. This is taking out any dead yeast cells and solids. To do this, egg whites, clay, or a compound are used. 6. Aging/bottling: The wine now could be bottled right away or put in something else to age longer. This could be aged in bottles, stainless steel, ceramic tanks, large wooden ovals, or small barrels.
The Sustainability Winemaking Process
1. Choose a grapevine variety package & soak for around 3 hours (they come as a bare stock, not in soil) 2. Harvest/picking time: Depending on your choice, you may pick the fully grown grapes by hand or with a machine
Far Niente Winery, Oakville, CA
Is Wine Sustainability important?
Wine and sustainability are lengthy topics by themselves. Sustainability branches out to culinary, the earth, and wine. Wine sustainability is interesting because to me the topic shows how much people are caring of the earth and what they allow their consumers to drink. You start a winery because you care about the earth and about people and wine sustainability goes one step further. Remember, some topics on wine sustainability are the three E's; economical, equitable, and environmental, certification for wineries and vineyards, and involvement opportunities. In The Sustainability Revolution, "In essence, the SWP code lays out a set of sustainability strategies for the wine industry that are "Environmentally Sound, Economically Feasible and Socially Equitable (Edwards, pg 95)." When producing on a sustainable level, the vineyard takes everything into account like the water, any pollution, soil, and the taste of course. Here is a good analogy: sustainability is the recycling in the culinary world. Certification is another important factor to a winery. This gives you a good marketing tool to use on your website to draw people in. Also this is another topic for the discussion table when visitors wine taste or take a tour. There are many many wine regions all over the world. In the United States, California is a big exposé (presenter of wine). New Zealand, Australia, Spain, Italy, and France are also involved in the love. To involve yourself in the art you can of course go to college like UC Davis in California. This school has a big research facility just dedicated to Viticulture and Enology. Smaller and less expensive ways are through websites where you may gain membership or get added to an email list. One in particular website, The Wine Institute, was mentioned in The Sustainability Revolution. Here they said, "The Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices (SWP) was established in 2002 by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) to "promote environmental stewardship and social responsibility in the California wine industry (Edwards, pg 95)."
UC Davis's Sustainable Winery building
Trefethen Vineyards Napa, CA
B i b l i o g r a p h y
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. CSWA, 2006-2012. Web. 25 July 2012. Edwards, Andres. The Sustainability Revolution. Canada: Photodisc Blue, 2005. Print. Goode, Jamie, and Sam Harrop MW. Authentic Wine toward natural and sustainable winemaking. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2011. Print. “Grape Varietals: What is Sustainable Wine?” Wine + Food Travel. Wine and Food Travel, n.d. Web. 25 July 2012. “Growing Green.” Oregon Wine. Oregon Wine Board, 2011. Web. 26 July 2012. “Perfect Climate for Growing Grapes in Eastern Washington.” Washington State Wine. Washington Wine Commission, 2012. Web. 26 July 2012. SIP Certified Sustainability in Practice. Social Good Media, 2012. Web. 25 July 2012. Viticulture & Enology. UC Davis. Department of Viticulture & Encology, University of California- Davis, 2006-2007. Web. 26 July 2012. Walla Walla Valley Vinea The Winegrowers’ Sustainable Trust. Walla Walla Valley Vinea. 2004. Web. 12 July 2012. Weiner, Adam. “Sustainable Vs. Organic Vs. Biodynamic: What’s The Difference?” Adams Wine Guide. Word Press, 17 Apr 2010. Web. 25 July 2012. Weissler, Jeff, Vinny Liscio. Conscious Wine. Conscious Wine. 2012. Web. 25 July 2012.
“What is Sustainable Viticulture?” LOCA. Media Design Services, Inc., n.d. Web. 12 July 2012. Wine Institute. Wine Institute, 2005-2012. Web. 12 July 2012. “Wine Making Process.” The International Wine of the Month Club. N.p., N.d. Web 25 July 2012. Wine Spectator. Wine Spectator Online, 2012. Web. 25 July 2012. Christy, Courtney. “Far Niente Winery Oakville, CA.” Oakville, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Napa Valley Winery.” Napa, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Napa Valley Certified Organic.” Napa, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Robert Mondavi Center UC Davis.” Davis, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Trefethen Winery Napa, CA.” Napa, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Trefethen Winery Napa, CA.” Napa, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “Trefethen Vineyards Napa, CA.” Napa, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo. Christy, Courtney. “UC Davis’s Sustainable Winery building.” Davis, CA. 30 July 2012. Photo.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.