Sparkling wine cave

Sparkling wine bottles being unstacked and prepared for riddling, within the historic Schramsberg caves. Photo by Sarah Sanger Photography


Sheep serve as natural lawn mowers and fertilizers between the vine rows at Tres Sabores Winery.

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St. Supéry Estate features the Napa Green logos on all of their labels, inspiring conversations with visitors and trade.

Napa Green Certified

Keep an eye out for the Napa Green Certified signs as you travel through the Napa Valley.

Napa Green: Sustainability Elevates Wine Quality and Experience

Napa Green. Visitors to the Napa Valley have likely heard the term or seen the Napa Green Certified signs skirting the vineyards and wondered, “What does that mean?” The complementary Napa Green Land and Winery certifications symbolize an appealing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship that gives guests an added reason to enjoy select Napa Valley wines. For who can argue with caring for nature, caring for employees and the community, and caring for business resilience? When applied to wineries and winemaking, sustainability results in swirling and sipping for the greater good.
Napa Green entails much more than our common mantra of ‘reuse, reduce, recycle.’ Growers and vintners participating in either the Land or Winery programs or both the are held to rigorously high standards, the practices of which are largely unseen by the visiting public. Sure, wine tasters might spy a bluebird box here and there (a mother nature approved insect abatement method), or take note of colorful cover crops that line vineyard rows (enriching soils and attracting beneficial insects), yet the bulk of Napa Green activities are harder to see (like implementing more efficient tank and barrel cleaning methods).

Napa Green Land certification entails that land owners assess all aspects of their property, including farming practices, roads, and waterways, and that they implement measures to retain soils and prevent erosion, identify and reduce harmful inputs and runoff, conserve water resources, and preserve habitat along the river, creeks and streams. To become a Napa Green Certified Winery, wineries must implement 100+ measures to improve energy and water efficiency, prevent waste and take climate action – all while engaging employees on the path to winery sustainability. Napa Green provides the opportunity for ‘soil to bottle’ stewardship that contributes to the health of the Napa River watershed, integrates resource conservation and climate action into day-to-day operations, implemented by vineyards and wineries committed to being conscientious employers and good neighbors. It’s a tall order, so it is impressive that there are now nearly 90 Napa Green Certified Wineries. Roughly 70% of Napa Valley’s vineyard acreage has been certified Napa Green Land, representing more than 30,000 acres.

Created in the early 2000s by industry leaders, environmental groups, and government agencies in a cooperative effort to protect and restore the Napa River, the Napa Green Land program granted its first certification in 2004. The Napa Green Winery certification program began in 2008. The independent, third-party certification pathways for farms and winemaking facilities makes Napa Green one of the most rigorous sustainability accreditations within the wine industry. The emphasis on both vineyard and winery certification sets Napa Green apart
“My wife, Michelle, and I believe that we are charged with leaving this world a better place than we found it,” said Robin Baggett, owner of Alpha Omega Winery, chair of the Napa Valley Vintners Board of Directors, and past president of the Rutherford Dust Society (RDS). Michelle is also a RDS past president. “Saving energy and water and reducing carbon footprint and waste is a big part of this mission. We are proud to have both our winery and land Napa Green certified and to be a part of the Rutherford Dust Society, the first AVA association to be 100% certified Napa Green Land.”

“Winery participation in either of these two certification programs is totally voluntary,” said Anna Brittain, who, as executive director of Napa Green, works closely with each winery to achieve certification. “The effort is often led by whomever has a passion for sustainability – be it the winery’s winemaker, operations manager or proprietor. The Napa Valley Vintners, who have championed the program for more than 15 years, set a goal to have all of their members participating in one or both programs, and we are more than 75% of the way to meeting that goal. Right now, 40% of all certified sustainable wineries in the whole state are located within Napa. We are extremely proud of our industry’s leadership.”

A Napa Valley native, Brittain finds her work personally meaningful. A graduate of St. Helena High School, she earned a Master of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara and worked in sustainability roles nationally and internationally before returning to the Valley to help grow the Napa Green program. Napa Green was originally created under the auspices of Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the Napa wine industry’s trade association that promotes, protects, and enhances the Napa Valley. Brittain helped lead the recent transition to Napa Green becoming its own, independent, non-profit entity.
Now as a stand-alone non-profit, the organization is able to seek new partners and fundraising opportunities and implement some innovative programs. One such proposed program is the Napa Green Tasting Passport, with the majority of Napa Green’s 50+ comprehensively certified members offering incentives such as two-for-one tastings, or an upgrade to a vineyard tour, cave experience, or food pairing. Brittain hopes to offer the passport twice annually to drive traffic during the shoulder seasons of March through June and November through December. “The Passport will provide a platform for wineries to tell their story and engage guests in new ways. By paying for itself in three or four winery visits it will appeal to visitors regardless of existing curiosity or awareness about sustainable winegrowing, and serve as a launching point to grow this understanding.”
But Napa visitors need not wait for this program rollout to enjoy the full flavor of the Napa Green experience. Napa Green has developed 12 themed Napa Green Wine Tasting Itineraries curated to match every viticultural mood or interest. The common theme? Each of the 36 listed wineries is a participant in the Napa Green Land and/ or Napa Green Winery programs. And with April being Down to Earth month, marking the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, it’s a perfect time to visit these green wineries.

The self-guided itineraries each feature three, close-in-proximity wineries with shared qualities. An art lover? Choose Art & Architecture and taste as you tour the galleries of Etude, Artesa, and the Hess Collection. Select the American Dream itinerary and learn the origins of Chateau Montelena’s historic 1976 Judgment of Paris win, absorb Benessere’s ‘good life’ vibes, and witness how a wine dynasty family keeps things fresh at Trinchero Napa Valley. The Eco Chic tour leads to the rustically elegant tasting barn of Phifer Pavitt, the stylish solitude of Stony Hill, and exploration of the geological history of the Napa Valley via a private tasting experience 65 feet below the earth in the Chateau Boswell Caves. 

“Making the commitment to third-party certification takes time and effort,” said Susan Boswell, unofficially dubbed ‘the Queen of Napa Green’ for her continued efforts to reduce water and energy use at Chateau Boswell. “But it is worth it to demonstrate our commitment to the community and to protect our watershed, our land, and the air we breathe.”
“Napa Green is an excellent beginning,” said Chris Howell of Spring Mountain’s Cain Vineyard & Winery. Howell, who calls himself a ‘wine-grower,’ was an early adopter of Napa Green Land practices. “Even before Napa Green, we learned about Fish Friendly Farming, and recognized that everything we do in our vineyard affects our watershed,” said Howell. “Adopting Napa Green vineyard practices was a no-brainer for me and for Cain.”
“There are many benefits in being Napa Green Winery and Napa Green Land certified,” said Alan Viader, director of operations and winemaking at Viader Vineyards. “For a small winery like ours, we are always looking to improve our efficiency and be on the frontlines of innovation and change. The idea of Napa Green really attracted me. As farmers, it’s our duty to be the very best stewards of the land. It takes effort and follow-through but if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
Napa Green’s future may well expand beyond the wine industry. The program may broaden its scope to begin promoting and facilitating sustainability certification for other hospitality sectors, such as hotels, restaurants and events. “Through Napa Green, participants are raising awareness about the importance of sustainability community-wide and the program is helping our wine community put their values into action,” said Michelle Novi, associate director of industry relations for the Napa Valley Vintners. “Given the robust certification requirements, I have no doubt that Napa Green will be an integral program to help Napa County achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals.”
The Napa Green ethos is well-captured by Aron Weinkauf, winemaker and vineyard manager at Spottswoode Estate, “The health of our vineyard, the happiness of our team and the quality of our wines are intrinsically linked. This relationship between land, people and environment is the apex of winegrowing craftsmanship.”
Napa Green knows sustainability is a path, not a destination, and will continue to support businesses as they navigate this path.

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.​

Seeking third party auditors! Email for full details!
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Have you been to Napa Green Certified @boeschenvineyards yet?
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Team Green outing today at the stunning @boeschenvineyards as we celebrate big things that we can’t wait to share with you! 🌿
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One of the main resistances to phasing out glyphosate is increased labor and equipment costs. However, the costs of herbicides and fertilizers have risen dramatically, so increased labor demands can be offset by reduced supply chain purchases. 

In addition, leaders like Grgich Hills Estate have shown that regenerative organic farming can be cost-effective. According to an analysis by Brotemarkle Davis & Co. LLP accounting firm, the average annual per acre cost of vineyard management in the Napa Valley is $14,800, with $3,800 in depreciation. At Grgich, they spend $11,000 per acre, with only $1,300 in depreciation due to the longer life of their vineyards. 

Learn from regional leaders about the practical costs, benefits, and ROI of herbicide-free, organic, and regenerative vineyard management.

Confirmed Speakers:
• Ivo Jeramaz, Grgich Hills
• Phil Coturri, Enterprise Vineyard Management & Winery Sixteen 600
• Brad Kurtz, Gloria Ferrer
• Brenae Royal, St. Supery
• Rebekah Wineburg, Quintessa

Register at the link in our bio.
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“Storytelling is key… and sustainability is the most important topic in wine.”

Thank you @elinmccoy for an incredible and insightful conversation with @napagreen members about the stories most likely to capture journalists attention.
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Thank you to all who attended our Future of Water Workshop yesterday at Napa Green Certified @silveroakcellars! 

Stay tuned for more from our luminary speakers @mimicasteel, @todmostero, @petergleick & our own @abrittain.
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Join us for a special roundtable workshop with award-winning journalist Elin McCoy, global wine critic for Bloomberg News and US editor for the podcast The Wine Conversation, with listeners in 95 countries. 

Elin will sit down with a small group of Napa Green members (max 25 guests) and share her insights on the types of stories and pitches most likely to engage the media. In particular, she’ll focus on stories related to sustainable winegrowing, climate action, and social equity. 

Elin will speak and answer questions for about an hour. Then we’ll break into small groups to develop a story pitch, and come back together to present and get Elin’s feedback and input. This is a rare opportunity to get ideas and inspiration from a leading wine journalist. Register at the link in our profile.
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Climate Action & Regenerative Agriculture! Our sixth pillar that encompasses all that we do at Napa Green. 🌼
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Hear from Winery Program Manager @love.dream.breathe about Energy Efficiency & Savings, one of our pillars of sustainable winegrowing leadership
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We want to sincerely thank everyone who donated either space, time or proceeds of bottles/food sold to Napa Green during Earth Month! We are a small non-profit that greatly relies on donations of these kinds and we’re so grateful for our supportive community. 

Let’s hear it for: 

📖 @karenmacneilco
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Social Justice, Equity & Inclusion. Perhaps our most important pillar of our six pillars of sustainability leadership. 

Thank you for the beautiful description @growresiliently!
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Register now at the link in our profile! 💦

May 23, 2024
Silver Oak Winery, Oakville
9:00 am - 12:15 pm

One of the most critical agricultural concerns with our changing climate, and more frequent & intense weather extremes, is precipitation and water availability. The good news is opportunities abound to optimize irrigation efficiency, and implement regenerative practices that improve soil health, water infiltration, and retention. 

Join us for The Future of Water, with highlights including a keynote from Peter Gleick, one of the world’s leading water experts, and Mimi Casteel, not only a viticulturist and winemaker, but also a forest ecologist with a vision for water resiliency.
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Join us for The Future of Water Workshop, to explore our water future, with highlights including a keynote from Peter Gleick, one of the world’s leading water experts (all guests will receive a copy of Peter’s most recent book, The Three Ages of Water) and Mimi Casteel, not only a viticulturist and winemaker, but also a forest ecologist with a vision for water resiliency.

Wine grape quality is closely tied to the right amount of water, at the right time. One of the most critical agricultural concerns with our changing climate, and more frequent & intense weather extremes, is precipitation and water availability. We’ve swung from historic drought to atmospheric rivers. Our community has huge swaths of unmanaged, unhealthy forests full of non-natives and overrun by firs, amplifying fire risk and undermining one of the most critical systems for groundwater recharge.

The good news is opportunities abound to optimize irrigation efficiency, and implement regenerative practices that improve soil health, water infiltration, and retention. A watershed coalition has also formed in Napa County to pilot and model creek & forest restoration for localized water resiliency and climate cooling. 

Come learn more on Thursday, May 23rd at 9:00am at @silveroakcellars.
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Sustainably sourced ingredients with Chef Sarah Heller 🌱 Purchase your tax deductible ticket to our Opus One x Napa Green dinner at the link in our profile!
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You’re invited.. 

Full details may be found at the link in our profile. Cheers!
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As we wrap up an amazing Earth Month, we want to thank you all for the support & for coming to see us at our events! 

Let’s keep the momentum going and remember that Earth Day is Every Day! 🌎
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