Like wine regions the world over, Napa Valley has adopted certification programs to help wine-producers do their bit to roll back environmental degradation and regenerate the land.

Napa Valley Goes Green
From soil to bottle and everything in between.

Napa Valley is green for much of the year, from spring, when the vines produce their new leaves, until autumn, when the leaves turn yellow before falling off and the vines settle in for their annual hibernation. But Napa Green, the regional sustainability program, is turning the valley metaphorically green year-round—and not only the vineyards, but also the wineries, cellars, and all the commercial operations.

Like wine regions the world over, Napa Valley has adopted certification programs to help wine-producers do their bit to roll back environmental degradation and regenerate the land. Napa is a region where these issues are immediate. Periodic droughts threaten the viability of vineyards that rely on irrigation, and annual wildfires in the valley threaten to destroy vineyards and taint grapes with smoke residue.

Sustainability programs adopted by wineries are sometimes scorned as “greenwashing.” But Napa Valley wineries know they need to take meaningful action, and they’ve made Napa Green a leader in the wine industry’s move toward environmental responsibility. In the vineyard, it includes measures to reduce water use, prevent soil erosion, reduce harmful inputs such as chemicals, and protect the habitat. In the cellar, it means saving energy and water, reducing carbon footprints, and maximizing recycling.

It’s what Anna Brittain, Napa Green’s executive director, calls a soil to bottle program—and it literally involves bottles, as producers are encouraged to forsake the heavy glass bottles iconic red wines are often packaged in. Glass, Brittain says, accounts for a huge percentage of the industry’s carbon footprint. Lighter bottles are good for everyone, especially people who have to carry cases of wine, but we might see the progressive return of corks at the expense of the easy-to-remove screwcaps that have become so common in the last 20 years: cork is simply the bark of a tree that renews itself naturally—an archetypal renewable resource, if ever there was one—and corks can be recycled.

But Napa Green is not just about stuff, like glass, corks, and water. It’s also about the people in Napa’s wine industry. Racial and gender equity policies are built into the standards for employment practices. They embrace hiring, opportunities for advancement, health care, and salaries. As with vineyard and cellar practices, the program enables wineries to measure their progress with personnel.

What does this mean in real terms for wineries? Jon Ruel, co-founder and CEO of Trefethen Vineyards, one of the early members of Napa Green, embraced it enthusiastically: “It’s a project about your land.” An example of his sustainable measures: when one block of merlot was underperforming because the vines were too vigorous, he planted cover crops between the rows to “steal water” from the vines. The vines soon balanced their foliage and grapes.

Ruel warns that “sustainability is not a destination; it’s a journey,” and here he’s in agreement with Haley Duncan, a member of the family that owns Silver Oak Cellars and its safety and sustainability manager. Napa Green, she says, is not a set of fixed goals but will evolve. One of Silver Oak’s projects was to install enough solar panels—3,000 of them—to provide all the power for the winery. The winery has LEED Platinum certification.

Napa Green clearly benefits the environment and the people who work in Napa Valley’s wineries, but do its effects extend to the contents of the bottle? Does sustainably produced wine taste better or even different? Jon Ruel thinks not—not if you think of taste in the narrow sense. But if you think contextually, and you know that the wine you’re drinking was made with respect for the land, he says, “it doesn’t just taste great, it feels great!”

These wines are produced by wineries certified by Napa Green:

Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2018 (Napa Valley)

Clos du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Napa Valley)

Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Napa Valley)

Hoopes Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Oakville, Napa Valley)

Revana Terroir Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (Napa Valley)

Robert Mondavi The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (To Kalon Vineyard, Oakville, Napa Valley)

Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Napa Valley)

Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Napa Valley)

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 &!
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🌿 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!
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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
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‘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
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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!
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⚠️ 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.
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Don’t miss the awe-inspiring @nikki_silvestri at @dominusestatewinery on Nov 30th!
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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.
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Curious to learn more? Join us at @dominusestatewinery on November 30th for a rare event and luncheon. Link in bio for details.
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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! 💚
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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!!
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Drink Green this Halloween! 💚
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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! “
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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!
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