June 7-23, Napa, CA – The first four events of the Napa THRIVES symposium were an incredible success, with nearly 400 guests joining to share in action- and impact-oriented conversations around water and energy efficiency, waste prevention & green purchasing, cultivating biodiversity and partnering with nature in and around the vineyard. During the course of the events many industry leaders committed to Take Action.
Chimney Rock Winery will explore installing EV chargers and lightening more of their glass bottles. Pam Starr of Crocker & Starr is transitioning to Napa Green Vineyard, getting a “Distribution Uniformity” Assessment to maximize irrigation efficiency, and divesting from lenders/investors that support fossil fuels. Tonnellerie Berger & Fils will seek out more sustainable packaging for international barrel shipments, and facilitate a community initiative for local recycling and reuse of barrel packaging.
Highlights included New York Times Wine Critic, Eric Asimov, warning against “Pro-task-ination” – emphasizing that we cannot allow our many small, day-to-day tasks to become an excuse not to take serious, industry-leading action to drawdown emissions and build resilience. “Viticulture is symbolic far beyond other agriculture because of its visibility and emotional connection to the public,” noted Asimov. “Wine has the power to educate and persuade – it’s crucial to use this storytelling power.”
World-renowned climate advocate, Bill McKibben, founder of Third Act and 350.org, drove home the scale of the climate crisis and the unique opportunity the wine industry has to be brave and engage with “HNWIs” – the High-Net-Worth Individuals who visit and enjoy our exceptional wines. We must share the call to action, including divesting from banks and investments that support fossil fuels. McKibben observed, “The planet is way outside of its comfort zone, and so we also have to be far outside of our comfort zone.”
On June 21, Napa THRIVES will focus on Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, with leaders and industry changemakers including Nikki Silvestri of Soil and Shadow, Philana Bouvier of Demeine Estates, Tonya Pitts, Sommelier and Wine & Food consultant, and Maryam Ahmed, co-founder of the Diversity in Wine Leadership Forum and founder of Maryam + Company.
“Saying social equity is just a part of sustainability is like saying rebar is just a part of a building,” says Martin Reyes, MW, co-founder of Napa THRIVES. “Taking care of our people is foundational to any grown-up discussion of sustainability and resilience. We require social sustainability to achieve rapid progress in our environmental and economic longevity.”
On June 23, Napa THRIVES will culminate in a fireworks event bringing it all home with Climate Action & Regenerative Agriculture. Climate scientist Dr. Drew Isaacs will lead a Marquee roundtable featuring Birgit Cameron of Patagonia Provisions, Jonathan Foley of Project Drawdown, and Kimberly Nicholas, sustainability scientist at Lund University and author of “Under the Sky We Make.” Kayalin Akens-Irby of Planet FWD will return and join a workshop on the process and benefits of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories. As Akens-Irby observed in her keynote on June 14, “The food and beverage industry as a whole makes up 30 to 40% of global emissions, which is a huge footprint. Wine itself is a much smaller percentage of that, but this industry also has an outsized opportunity to improve and to fight climate change. [We have to] orient our agricultural systems around fighting climate change as a core outcome of the products we grow.”
June 23rd’s Climate Action event will include bonus content, with two afternoon workshops – the first a discussion with the leaders of the Porto Protocol, an international industry climate action and education non-profit, and the second a deep dive into “The Future of Finance,” as requirements for Environmental Social Governance (ESG) action, reporting and transparency will soon be a requirement for ANY business, large or small, seeking a loan or investment.
Week Three Marquee Speakers: Nikki Silvestri, Founder and CEO, Soil and Shadow; Kimberly Nicholas, Sustainability Scientist, Lund University, and Author, Under the Sky We Make; Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, Project Drawdown; Birgit Cameron, Co-Founder and Head of Patagonia Provisions.
Week Three Industry Mentors: Philana Bouvier, President, Demeine Estates (Growing Diversity & Social Impact); Jim Duane, Winemaker, Seavey Vineyard (Regenerative Carbon Farming).
Week Three Moderators: Dr. Liz Thach, MW, Wine Writer, Educator, and Consultant; Dr. Andrew Isaacs, UC Berkeley Climate Scientist; Peter Marks, MW, Napa Valley Wine Academy; Kelli White, Sommelier and author Napa Valley, Then & Now.
Napa THRIVES Co-Founders: Anna Brittain & Martin Reyes MW
Learn More and Get Your Tickets Now at https://napathrives.org/