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What is Napa Green?

Napa Green is a comprehensive sustainability certification program for vineyards and wineries in the Napa Valley. Soil-to-bottle stewardship includes protecting and restoring the Napa River watershed; saving energy and water; reducing waste and carbon footprint; and being conscientious employers and good neighbors. Independent, third-party certification of farms and winemaking facilities makes Napa Green one of the most rigorous sustainability accreditations the wine industry offers.

Napa Green Fast Facts

What's the difference between the Land and Winery programs?

Napa Green Land

Third-party vineyard certification involves developing a custom, whole-farm conservation plan focused on:

  • Reducing erosion and sediment runoff
  • Identifying and reducing harmful inputs
  • Conserving water resources
  • Protecting and restoring riparian habitat
  • Ensuring healthy employees and happy neighbors

Farm Plans are third-party certified by representatives of the Napa County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office; National Marine Fisheries Services; and Certified Erosion Control Experts.

Napa Green Winery

Wineries implement a minimum of 100 sustainability and environmental stewardship practices to:

  • Save energy and increase energy efficiency
  • Conserve water and increase water use efficiency
  • Reduce waste through recycling, composting and environmentally preferable purchasing
  • Drawdown greenhouse gas emissions and the winery’s carbon footprint
  • Evaluate human resources, workforce, neighbors & community practices to ensure social equity

Napa Green Winery practices and Action Plans for continuing improvement are third-party certified by the Napa County Department of Public Works and the California Green Business Program.

Some of the most commonly asked questions about Napa Green, answered:

When were the Napa Green Land and Winery programs created?

The Napa Green Land program was first formed in the early 2000s. The program was a collaboration between vintners, growers, environmental groups and regulators as a way to go above and beyond existing environmental regulations and to have a meaningful impact on the health and sustainability of the Napa River watershed. Since the first property certification in 2004, more than 55% of all the vineyard land in Napa County is now certified. The Napa Green Winery program was developed in 2008 to further apply the principles of sustainability, this time throughout the winemaking process. More than 7 million cases of wine are produced from Napa Green wineries annually.

How does Napa Green compare to other certifications?

We applaud all efforts and initiatives to improve sustainability in the wine industry. Napa Green sets itself apart by requiring that participants in the Land program apply best management practices to their whole property, not just its vineyards. Sediment that can impair fish habitat is derived from many sources of a land parcel – not just a vineyard. Napa Green Land looks at a property holistically and applies integrated management solutions throughout.

To become Napa Green Winery certified, vintners must not only assess cellar operations and implement practices to conserve resources, but also create an action plan for continuous improvement. To actively reduce resource use, wineries participate in comprehensive water and energy use audits along with a waste diversion assessment. Finally, before a winery achieves certification, its operations are evaluated for environmental compliance with Napa County codes – providing peace of mind to vintners and the community.

Both the Napa Green Land and Winery programs are certified by independent, third-party auditors.

Who benefits most from certification?

As a holistic sustainability certification program, the benefits are also realized holistically. Vineyard owners achieve regulatory compliance while improving the health of the Napa River watershed; vineyards adopt policies that enhance their relationships with neighbors and support social equity with employees. Wineries see many benefits to their bottom line, allowing them to better plan for the future and be an economically sustainable enterprise, employing local residents. For each benefit, there is a secondary and sometimes tertiary benefit – everything is connected.

How much does the certification cost?

There are two approved pathways to Napa Green Land Certification: Fish Friendly Farming and LandSmart. Currently, Fish Friendly Farming has an $8/acre fee to help develop and certify a Farm Plan, and an additional per acre fee to meet new Regional Water Quality Control Board Waste Discharge Requirements. LandSmart currently has grant funding which covers the entire cost of the plan.

The winery program charges a $200-$400 matching fee for the Integrated Resource Assessment. This assessment evaluates energy, water and waste and makes detailed engineering and best practice recommendations to vintners.

Does the Napa Green program belong to the Napa Valley Vintners?

The Napa Green program is a collaboration between all the program stakeholders. As a stakeholder, the Napa Valley Vintners actively promotes and champions the program, devoting resources to ensure the program continues to grow and its accomplishments are celebrated.

What does the Napa Valley Vintners' 2020 certification goal mean?

Building on a history of leadership and conservation and to further raise awareness about the benefits of Napa Green, the Napa Valley Vintners has set a goal that all of its eligible members will be in the Napa Green program by the end of 2020. As of 2018, more than 65% of all eligible members are involved in the program.

Have questions about the program or certification process?

We welcome your questions and feedback about the Napa Green program.

Media Gallery

Photography assets are provided for media use only.

Please caption accordingly:
Photo provided by Napa Valley Vintners and taken by [photographer name].

IMAGE: Napa Green Sign and Vineyard
IMAGE: Mustard Cover Crop
IMAGE: Napa Green Vineyards and Open-Space
IMAGE: Oak Tree and Open-Space
IMAGE: Open-Space and Vineyards Meet
IMAGE: Napa Green Land and Winery wooden signs
IMAGE: View in a fermentation room
IMAGE: Spring cover crop
IMAGE: Cellar workers removing must from a fermentation tank
IMAGE: Harvesting Chardonnay grapes
IMAGE: Night Harvest
IMAGE: The Napa River meanders through downtown Napa Valley
IMAGE: Vineyards and Valley
IMAGE: Cellar and Cave
IMAGE: Owl boxes in the vineyard help support integrated pest management practices.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Reusable plastic pallets in a Napa Green Winery.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: A Gyr-Prairie falcon kept to help to combat non-native berry-eating birds in the vineyard.
Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Vineyard bird boxes help support native birds and keep the ecosystem in balance.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Vineyard visitors learn about land management practices that protect the Napa Valley watershed.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Energy efficient lighting fills wine caves at Chateau Boswell.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Insectary plantings can help control pests and support bee populations.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Solar arrays in a Napa Valley vineyard.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners
IMAGE: Visitors to the Napa Valley paddle on the Napa River.

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Vintners

I've been at this for 30 years and this is the best, most well-thought-out program I've ever seen.

Yvon Chouinard, Environmentalist and Founder of Patagonia