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Sparkling wine cave

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

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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.​

Napa Green & Premiere Napa Valley 💚

Thank you for creating such a beautiful event @wheelerfarmswinery! 

Incredible offerings from Napa Green Certified wineries @aowinery, @chandonusa, @grgichhills, @inglenook1879, @rombauervineyards, @spottswoodewinery, @trefethenfamily, @troisnoixwine & @stsupery!! 

Cheers to @premierenapa!
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The whole team is here and some amazing friends are joining us like @spottswoodewinery, @accendocellars, @aowinery, @stsupery, @rombauervineyards, @chandonusa, @troisnoixwine, @trefethenfamily, @matthiasson_wine & @grgichhills! 

Our first @premierenapa event kicks off at 4pm today at @wheelerfarmswinery!! 🍷🎉
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Grazing in the vineyards with a big assist from Cup the Sheep Dog! 

We’ll see you at our event in partnership with @napa_valley_grapegrowers on Feb 27th at @thecastello! Link in bio for registration. 

#welovedogs #sheepdog #sheepfarming #grazing #vineyards #napa #napavalley #regenerativeagriculture #soilhealthmatters
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Sign up for the Grazing Workshop on Tuesday, Feb 27th at @thecastello at the link in our profile. 

@napa_valley_grapegrowers @perennialgrazing
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Add the Napa Green logo to your back label! 

Find the link in our profile or email megan@napagreen.org. Happy bottling season!
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Not just talking the talk but walking the walk is very important to us. One way we do that is by providing our members with as many tools and resources as possible. Here’s what’s coming up: 

1. Weed Management Equipment & Tools for herbicide-free farming - Thurs, Feb 15th at @inglenook1879 at 9:00am. 

2. Napa Green Premiere Open House for the Wine Trade - Thurs, Feb 22nd at @wheelerfarmswinery at 4:00pm. 

3. California Small Farms Conference - Thurs, Feb 25th with @mimicasteel & Ben Mackie at 3:00pm. 

4. Grazing for Vineyard Health & Fire Resilience - Tues, Feb 27th at @thecastello at 9:00am. 

Find all details and registration on napagreen.org under the Connect with Us tab or just head to the link in our profile. We’ll see you all soon.
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📣 February Events! 

www.napagreen.org ➡️ Connect with us ➡️ Events & Workshops! 

Or head the link in our profile to find it all & how to register with one click. See you all at an event soon.
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Join us for a Grazing for Vineyard Health & Fire Resilience Field Day in partnership with @napa_valley_grapegrowers. During this February 27th event we’ll discuss ways to best utilize sheep in the vineyard and employ grazing animals for woodland management, addressing both fire fuel reduction and post fire recovery. Don’t miss this opportunity to delve into regenerative practices for your vineyard and beyond! 

Find the link in our profile to register.

📸: @sarahannerisk
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History, sustainability & fine wine at Napa Green Certified @schramsberg! 🥂

#wine #sparklingwine #schramsberg #napa #napavalley #winecave #winecollector #winelover #sustainability #organicvineyard
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🍷Wine Trade! Register for our Premiere Napa Valley event on Feb 22nd at the link in our profile!🍷
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Apply for a grant! Applications can be found at the link in our bio. 

#sustainability #climateaction #winebusiness #wineindustry #napa #napavalley #grantapplications #napawinery
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📣 Announcing our first ever NVV Premiere Event! 📣

Thursday, Feb 22nd from 4pm-6pm at @wheelerfarmswinery. Register at the link in our profile!
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Providing resources, tools and education for our members is core to what we do. Come see us at a February event! 

Register at the link in our profile. We’ll see you there!
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Weed Management Event at @inglenook1879 on Thursday, Feb 15th from 9:00am - 12:00pm. Link in profile to register. 

Por favor, mira hasta el final para ver el mensaje en español.
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Save these dates! 3 great events coming your way in February. 

Find info and registration at the link in our bio or at our website: napagreen.org under Connect with us - Events & Workshops!
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