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.
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.