Napa Green is one of the three founding members with Napa headquarters, and will thus be advocating for local interests at the international level.

A Napa Green certified vineyard with cover crop between each row.

Napa businesses join international Sustainable Wine Roundtable as founding members

Forty companies from across the globe joined forces this year to create the Sustainable Wine Roundtable, where stakeholders will work to set industry-wide sustainability standards and communication. Three of these founding members have Napa locations — Amorim CorkNapa Green and Treasury Wine Estates — each with different perspectives and priorities to bring to the (round)table.

By sharing best practices, advocating for incentivization programs, funding research and collaborating on certification processes, the SWR hopes to use the wine industry’s unique platform to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“All of us, the wine industry included, have our work cut out for us if we want to keep our world a livable place in the face of a changing climate, loss of biodiversity, plastic in the environment or any other number of things that need tackling,” said Will Drayton, Director of Technical Viticulture, Sustainability and Research for Treasury Wine Estates. “One of the key roles of the SWR, apart from crafting industry solutions, is to do a better job of telling the public what the wine industry is doing.”

With certifications and programs targeting sustainability initiatives across the industry, the wine world is doing a lot — they just haven’t been advertising it as well as they had hoped.

“The wine aisle can still be a confusing place, and in the U.S. we have many different flavors of sustainability certification that can add to that challenge,” said Drayton. “It should be easy for the consumer to understand what they are buying and what the stamp on the back of the bottle means.”

Drayton applauds Napa area programs like “Certified California” and “Fish Friendly Farming,” but says he would love to see a “common framework” emerge among them.

“[One] that takes into account all the regional diversity of sustainability programs, while making it easy for the consumer to know that they can trust our wine meets their high standards and values in sustainability,” he said.

The SWR’s first annual general meeting won’t take place until the second quarter of 2022, but the organization has been and will be plenty busy until then. In addition to discussing existing sustainability standards, the group also will need to break into different priority topic groups, increase membership and land on a governance model.

For Napa’s founding members, that means pinpointing the issues important to the industry here in Napa Valley.

“The wine industry is not a monolith,” said Drayton. “We need to talk from our experience in Napa to help everyone understand the challenges and opportunities we’ve had here and how they can be used around the world.”

For example — last year’s fires.

“[That] stands out as a particular challenge for Napa Valley,” he said. “How we pull together to keep people safe, stay nimble and keep making great wines.”

For the cork industry, there have also been challenges new and old, including Twilight Zone-y rainstorms and generational concerns over long-term land ethic. Amorim Cork, a Portuguese company with a branch in Napa, is one of the SWR founding members bringing this specific angle to the conversation.

“We didn’t become sustainable a couple years ago because we needed to,” said Amorim’s Carlos de Jesus, “We celebrated 150 years last year, and we have known for 150 years that sustainability was absolutely necessary for one very simple, straightforward reason: Without sustainability there is no cork forests … Period.”

De Jesus explained how the wine industry and all of its subsidiary industries are perfectly positioned to tell their sustainability story, since those who work with the land day-in and day-out have been experiencing and adapting to climate change impacts for quite some time. In addition, wine also has the marketability needed to grab the attention of its consumers.

“Unlike other products, wine has a front-row seat in interfacing with the consumer,” he said. “Wine is an agricultural product, but it is branded … It is an aspirational product, and it doesn’t have to be a luxury product, but it often is, and it is certainly more and more about the denomination of origin — that creates a great platform for leadership in climate change.”

With this platform, de Jesus wants to not only show the world why cork and wine production can be sustainable practices, but that changes can be made to avoid achieving this at the cost of others.

“If there is one fallacy that is fundamental that we debunk, it is that you can never balance people, profit and crop,” he said. “It’s not easy, I know, but to call that a utopia is to prevent the world from finding solutions to the problem … The wine industry has the ability to show the world that it can be done [and] it is as difficult to achieve as it is necessary.”

In Napa, where the wine industry permeates across hotels and hospitality, this is particularly important. 40% of all of the certified sustainable wineries in California are in Napa County, and programs like Napa Green have worked tremendously hard to retain the landscape that residents find so appealing. So through this global platform, players like de Jesus, Drayton and the leading forces behind Napa Green can advocate for the valley and its inhabitants.

“The SWR is going to enable us to lighten our footprint, help keep the rural character of places like Napa Valley, strengthen our resilience against climate change, keep preserving our environment around us, [and] it also provides a forum for looking at equitable labor standards and human rights,” said Drayton.

“And if you don’t live in Napa but enjoy a glass of Stags’ Leap, you should care that we’re going to be finding ways to lift sustainability standards and make them clear to you as consumers so that you can make conscious decisions about what you buy for yourself and the planet.”

These founding members are looking forward to sharing their innovations and initiatives with the public. While climate change outcomes have become more dire as global temperatures climb each year, the wine industry has the opportunity to make this a celebratory shift, rather than a crisis-driven one.

“If you did a poll around the entire world and asked people what are the top five happiest sounds of all time, I bet you that the pop of a cork coming out of the bottle would be one,” said de Jesus. “It doesn’t matter what age or gender or which continent you are in, that is a carrier of good news.”

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.​

A live check in with @abrittain &!
15 1
🌿 Did you know that less than 3% of philanthropic donations go to environmental work? 

Please consider donating to Napa Green this giving season with one of several ways at any level! 

Head to the link in our bio for details!
37 1
With gratitude and joy, we wish you a beautiful day & start to the holiday season from all of us at Team Green! 

- Ben, Meghan, Anna, Marissa, Sierra & Megan
75 1
‘If not here, where? If not now, when?’ 

“The onus is on us as a world class wine growing region to be leaders in sustainability & climate action.” 

- Executive Director of Napa Green, Anna Brittain
29 1
It’s been a big week at Napa Green and we want to take a moment to raise a glass to salute you all. 

We are overjoyed to see so much support and invigorated interest in our mission towards sustainable practices and regenerative agriculture in the wine industry. 

We have many more details, paired with educational & financial resources that are already up and rolling on our website. We will continue to share them all, one by one and in great detail here on socials as well. 

For now please plan on joining us at our upcoming Town Hall meeting on Dec 7th at @stsupery. You can find more details at 

Cheers and Happy Friday Napa Valley. We are so proud to be a part of this amazing community!
111 11
⚠️ Important Announcement 

Napa Green becomes the first sustainable wine growing certification to require the phaseout of Round Up. 

Please find the link in our bio for the full press release and full suite of info & grower resources. 

Join us on December 7th for our Napa Green Town Hall at @stsupery.
157 30
Don’t miss the awe-inspiring @nikki_silvestri at @dominusestatewinery on Nov 30th!
19 1
You’re invited to join us for a very special day at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th. 

We’ll be briefly interviewing our speaker @nikki_silvestri right here on Instagram today at 2:00pm PST to hear more about what to expect at this event. See you then.
40 2
Curious to learn more? Join us at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th for a rare event and luncheon. Link in bio for details.
50 1
GREEN is the new black this season!! 

Head to the link in our bio now and get your shirts, help a good cause and be an honorary part of Team Green this season! 💚
87 9
Let’s hear it for our Executive Director of Napa Green, the incomparable Anna Brittain for being named a 2023 Wine Industry Leader by @winebusinessmonthly!! 

In their Sustainability Stewards section (which we love to see) we find Anna named in good company with inspired fellow leaders! 

Head to our stories or the link in our bio for free access to the full November issue. 

Cheers to the great work of our visionary Director Anna Brittain!!
97 8
Drink Green this Halloween! 💚
36 1
Sierra is our Soil & Climate Specialist at Napa Green and her ask this year is that everyone consider donating to our small but mighty Team Green for Giving Season! 

Here is more from @regenwithsierra: 

“🎃 Happy Halloween Eve everyone! Today is my birthday, and I would be beyond thrilled if you would consider a donation to @napagreen to support a nonprofit focused on climate action in the wine industry 🍷🍾

@napagreen has the leading set of standards for sustainable practices, from soil to bottle. I am most proud of the work we do with winegrape growers to adopt regenerative agricultural practices in their vineyards. 

Please consider supporting us in our mission!  Click the link in bio for more! “
63 6
Thank you for having us @visitnapavalley! We had a great time talking to visitors about the many sustainability practices our Napa Green wineries and vineyards employ! 

Stop into the Visit Napa Valley Visitor Center in Napa to learn more!
76 2