Napa-Valley-Vitners

Ask the Vintners: Questions about Napa Green

We all care about the quality of life in Napa Valley and want to be good stewards of our land and environment. This month’s Ask the Vintners column explores the Napa Green environmental certification program for local vineyards and wineries, one of the ways the wine community is working to preserve Napa Valley for future generations.

What is Napa Green?

Napa Green is a comprehensive environmental certification program for vineyards and wineries in Napa Valley. It’s one of the most comprehensive environmental accreditations in the wine industry. The program takes a soil to bottle approach, integrating sustainable management practices at every step of the winemaking process. Napa Green Land and Winery owners are independently certified by third-party entities.

What is the difference between Napa Green Land and Napa Green Winery?

The Land program works with fish friendly farming, LandSmart and Napa Valley property owners to assess their whole parcel and develop a custom farm plan. Each plan must meet and exceed environmental compliance requirements, reduce soil loss and preserve and restore sensitive habitats.

The winery program works with producers to help them understand their water and energy use and waste management. Each participant receives an audit and detailed report to help them conserve resource use at their facility.

How did Napa Green get started?

In 1998 the Environmental Protection Agency declared the Napa River impaired and the State Water Board set reduction standards for “Total Maximum Daily Load” or TMDL of fine sediment into the river. In response, vintners, growers and environmental leaders representing more than 20 nonprofits and regulatory agencies worked in partnership to develop Napa Green Certified Land. The first property was certified in 2004.

In 2007, building on the success of the Land program, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) collaborated with Napa County and the California Green Business Program to develop the Napa Green Certified Winery program, creating a comprehensive, soil to bottle sustainability certification.

Is Napa Green a program of the Napa Valley Vintners?

The NVV helped develop the Napa Green program and is one of its greatest champions, but it is a collaborative effort and all certifications are completed by independent, third-party entities. In support of its commitment to the program, in 2015 the NVV set a goal that all its eligible members (those who own more than 5 acres of vineyard, a winery or both) will be in the program by the end of 2020. To date more than 50 percent of NVV members are in Napa Green.

What has the program achieved so far?

There are more than 70,000 acres in the Napa Green Land program and 45,000 total acres have been certified. More than half of Napa County’s vineyard acreage is Napa Green Land Certified. This represents 23,000 vineyard acres across nearly 400 properties. Roughly 150 miles of year-round creeks and rivers have been evaluated and improved.

On the winery side, more than 60 Napa County wineries are Napa Green Winery Certified and an additional 60 are pending certification.

What does this mean for local residents?

Napa Green builds on the history of land stewardship by Napa Valley vintners and growers. This history includes, in part:

  • The Napa Valley Agricultural Preserve, the first of its kind in the U.S., this year celebrating its 50th anniversary.
  • Nearly 90 percent of Napa County is under permanent or high levels of protection from development, thanks to the Ag Preserve, land conserved in perpetuity by the Land Trust of Napa County and numerous other regulations that protect our environment.
  • Miles of the Napa River and creeks that feed into it have been restored through public-private partnerships, including grape growers giving up valuable vineyard acreage, to preserve and enhance our waterways and riparian habitats.

If I’m a wine lover, where do I learn more?

A fun way to learn more about the program is by visiting some Napa Green Certified producers. Find wine tasting itineraries and get general information about the program at napagreen.org. Ask the Vintners is a monthly column written by the Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit association. Submit your questions to ask@napavintners.com and learn more at napavintners.com.

Napa Green Facts

  • Napa Green was started in the late 1990s by more than 20 industry and environmental groups, along with government agencies, looking to improve the quality of the Napa River.
  • The first Napa Green Land Certification was in 2004 and the first Napa Green Winery Certification was 2008.
  • Today, more than 70,000 acres in Napa County are in the Land program.
  • Half of all Napa County vineyard acreage is Napa Green Certified.
  • More than 60 wineries are Napa Green Certified and an additional 60 are pending certification.
  • The NVV is more than halfway to meeting its goal that all eligible members will be in the program by 2020.

Making the commitment to third party certification takes time and effort, but it is worth it to demonstrate our commitment to the community and to protect our watershed, our land and the air we breathe.​

Economic benefits & ROI of workshops: In a time of changing consumer trends, we want you think of us as extended members of your team. We are here to help share information of ways to not only increase your sustainability but also share with you how these things bring with them ROI, decrease in cost, consumer approval & many other economic benefits. 

Join us at our All Things Bottle Sustainability Workshop to hear from our panel of experts. Registration is $20 and the link can be found in our profile. Cheers!
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📣 Don’t miss these events! 

April 26th - All Things Bottle Sustainability, Pine Ridge Vineyards, 9:00am.

May 23rd - The Future of Water Workshop, 9:00am. 

On April 26 we have 12+ speakers covering all aspects of climate smart glass and packaging. Digging in on the truly most sustainable recyclable/compostable/reusable options, with some product show and tell. 

On May 23 we have keynotes from two incredible speakers and internationally renowned experts: Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute and author of The Three Ages of Water, and Mimi Casteel, vineyard manager at Hope Well Wine and forest ecologist. 

Register now!
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Join us for a dinner that brilliantly combines luxury and sustainability with Vintner Kia Behnia, acclaimed Chef Dave Cruz and The Wine Bible Author, Karen MacNeil! 

This event will help Napa Green raise much needed funding to keep our non profit thriving. For more info head to the link in our bio or email social@napagreen.org!
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We invite you join us at a very special wine dinner with @karenmacneilco, Chef Dave Cruz and @neotempowines to raise funds for climate action in the wine industry. 

For further details please go to the link in our profile or email social@napagreen.org. 

We hope to see you there. Cheers!
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Happy Earth Month! While our members celebrate the Earth every day of the year, this month is a great time to showcase those sustainability practices and tell consumers what you do to be green! Be sure to tag @napagreen in your posts, join us @earthdaynapa, and reach out for more ways to get involved!
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Meghan brings her passion for wine and sustainability together in her role as @napagreen’s social media manager. She is both a Vintner and Certified Sommelier and helps our members share their sustainability stories, emphasizing how caring for nature and community elevates both quality and guest experience. 

Thanks for your unwavering passion and dedication @mvino1!
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Join the @napagreen team this earth month at events around the valley at @cliffamily @earthdaynapa @silveroakcellars and more.

We look forward to talking (and drinking) sustainability with you!
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Say hi to @marisataylorwines, our Winery & Climate Specialist. Marisa has supported sustainable farming and green practices from vineyard to cellar and across all winemaking operations and continues to leverage her expertise to help wineries become climate action champions. 

Thanks for all you do!
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Last week we had a great climate smart burn and alternatives demonstration @gloriaferrerwinery where attendees learned techniques for a conservation/low-smoke burn with demonstrations from @thecleanburncompany and @napa.char. 

Additionally, speakers from @naparcd and Treasury Wine Estates presented the results from a recent vineyard biochar application research project. 

Learn more on our website.
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Have you met Sierra, our Climate & Soil Specialist? Sierra works tirelessly to advance climate resiliency in the Napa Valley by collaborating with growers to realize their climate action aspirations. 

Say hi to @growresiliently next time you see her in the field. Thanks for all that you do, Sierra!
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On average 40-60% of a vineyard and winery’s carbon footprint is from packaging and distribution alone. Join us to explore climate smart, sustainable glass, closures, the future of reusable glass, alternative packaging. Hear case studies. Learn what is truly recyclable, and new opportunities to recycle film wrap and label backing. Since 2020, climate smart marketed CPG products have doubled in sales to $3.4 billion. Wine bottles and packaging can be leveraged to meet rising consumer demand for climate smart products.

Get tickets to this workshop @pineridgewine to hear from @napagreen @consciouscontainer @revinobottles @keystonecapsules @cork_supply @neotempowines @estal_packaging @uppervalleydisposal @naparecycling and more!
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You may have seen Megan, our Winery Program Manager, out and about sporting her @napagreen shirt and talking about green practices. Utilizing her background in hospitality, sustainability and engineering she is dedicated in guiding businesses toward a more sustainable future. 

Thanks for all you do @love.dream.breathe!
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Join us for All Things Bottle Sustainability on Friday, April 26th. Link in bio to register!
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Cheers to @abrittain! Anna has worked locally, nationally and internationally on environmental management, including leading @napagreen and @naparise to the forefront of the wine industry climate action movement. 

Keep an eye out for her with our unofficial mascot, Lily, sharing our best practices, facilitating action and growing resilience in our industry and community. 

Thank you for all you do!
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