Napa Valley, CA — This April, the California wine industry has been celebrating Down to Earth Month and the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Dozens of Napa Valley vintners and growers have taken to social media to share videos and photos spotlighting their commitment to caring for nature. Napa Green is celebrating the achievements and leadership of its certified sustainable members. The organization is announcing that in the coming months, the Napa Green Land program will evolve beyond recognizing two regional programs that certify environmental compliance to become a next level, stand-alone climate action and environmental stewardship certification.
“The Napa Green program is a testament to the Napa Valley wine industry’s commitment to stewardship, collaboration and innovation. For all that the program and its participants have accomplished to date, we are confident that the best is yet to come,” shares Linda Reiff, President and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners.
Napa County growers have increased the amount of acreage under the Napa Green Land umbrella, working with either Fish Friendly Farming or LandSmart, from roughly 20,000 acres in 2015 to more than 36,000 acres in 2020. More than 80% of the Napa County growers are certified or enrolled and working toward certification with these two programs. Practices to prevent erosion and sediment runoff, reduce or eliminate the use of potentially harmful pesticides, maximize water efficiency, preserve and restore river habitat and commit to social equity all contribute to the health and resilience of the Napa River Watershed.
“The Napa Valley wine industry has always been a leader in the application of sustainable practices. Those involved in the Napa Green program take that commitment a step further,” says Dave Whitmer, former Napa County Agricultural Commissioner and Napa Valley Grapegrowers Board member.
The number of Napa Green Certified Wineries has increased from 37 in 2015 to nearly 90 in 2020, with dozens more wineries enrolled and actively working toward certification. Forty percent of all of the certified sustainable wineries in California are here in Napa County. These wineries implement more than 100 green business best practices to improve energy and water efficiency, prevent waste, take climate action, and engage employees along the path of sustainability.
“Napa Green is one of only four sustainable winegrowing programs nationwide providing the opportunity for comprehensive soil to bottle certification,” says Anna Brittain, Executive Director of Napa Green. “While sustainable agriculture is visible and recognized, the opportunities to improve resource efficiency and engage employees and guests in the winery are equally valuable. More than 50 of our members have been comprehensively certified in both the vineyard and winery.”
As one of the world’s premier winegrowing regions, the sustainability and environmental leadership of the Napa County wine industry has waves of impact in the beverage sector and beyond. Given the threats posed by global climate change, Napa Green has a mission to increase its impact on climate action in Napa County and the broader agriculture, wine and hospitality industries.
Fish Friendly Farming certified the first Napa Green Land property in 2004. Over the past 16-years, the Napa Valley Vintners, community partners and certification programs have worked to help growers meet and exceed environmental compliance. Now the Napa Green Executive team and its Board of Directors have decided that Napa Green Land should evolve to a distinct climate action and environmental stewardship certification program.
Environmental compliance will remain the foundation of this next level certification while cultivating and supporting growers interested in having a more profound impact on caring for nature. The focus of the certification will be implementing carbon-farming practices to reduce emissions and store more carbon in the soil, caring for employees and community, as well as recognizing those growers already going above and beyond.
Napa Green Land will continue to recognize growers with validated environmental compliance and certified Farm Plans through 2021, and growers participating in the next iteration of the Napa Green Land program will have an additional 1-2 growing seasons to implement the new standards.
Ryan Klobas, CEO of the Napa County Farm Bureau, notes, “Napa Valley growers have shown time and again that they continue to be excellent stewards of our land and natural resources and take their commitment to the environment seriously. Those involved in Napa Green proudly represent that long tradition of leadership.”
The commitment of the Napa Green community is part of what makes Napa County such a unique and beautiful place to live and to visit. Napa Green will continue to work with growers and vintners to grow the impact and resonance of sustainable winegrowing certification, particularly as the industry works to recover from the economic losses of the COVID-19 crisis.
About Napa Green
Napa Green serves as a catalyst and facilitator to grow certified sustainable, responsible businesses committed to environmental stewardship and climate action in Napa County. The Napa Green Land and Winery programs offer the opportunity for comprehensive third-party certification of rigorous soil to bottle standards for sustainable winemaking and grape growing. Napa Green members protect and restore the Napa River watershed, save energy and water, reduce waste and carbon footprint, and commit to being conscientious employers and good neighbors. Learn more at NapaGreen.org.