NAPA GREEN NEWS

Hello Napa Green Community,

As you’re coming up for air after harvest, we have some important updates and opportunities to share. In large part this newsletter is about “companion plants,” as Grgich has termed them, or weeds. 

In our pursuit to set the highest bar for sustainability and climate action in the wine industry, we are once again evolving our leadership by announcing we are the first sustainable winegrowing certification globally to require the phaseout of glyphosate/Roundup by Jan. 1, 2026, and the full suite of synthetic herbicides by Jan. 1, 2028. All of the details, resources, events and opportunities to learn more are below. 

This program evolution is one notable element of biennial updates we’ve made to both the Napa Green Vineyard and Winery standards – we’ve made some edits, additions, and expanded resources. For anyone newly certifying, or members coming up for recertification, the latest edition of the standards are available. As always, our team is ready and waiting to provide boots-on-the-ground support.

Enjoy your holiday feast next week, and may all of your family behave. Then consider joining us on Nov. 30 for a rarely available Implicit Bias training with Nikki Silvestri of Soil and Shadow at Dominus Estate, and again on Dec. 7 for a Town Hall happy hour at St. Supéry Estate to get all the details on our program updates.

We can’t wait to get a taste of the 2023 vintage! We’re very proud of our own Meghan Vergara for launching an M Rosé sparkline wine. Yeeees!

More soon, Anna Brittain

NAPA GREEN VINEYARD EVOLUTION

Hopefully, you’ve seen our Nov. 14 press release, “Napa Green Becomes First Sustainable Winegrowing Certification to Require Phaseout of Roundup, Providing Toolkit and Financial Incentives.” As we say, sustainability is a path, not a destination. Leadership must continually evolve.

Among some biennial updates to our standards, we have made a significant change in our Prohibited & Restricted Pesticides list. We will work hand in hand with our grower members to make this transition. 

  • Roundup/Glyphosate: Phaseout required by January 1, 2026*
  • Synthetic Herbicides: Phaseout required by January 1, 2028*
  • Neonicotinoid spray prohibited. Application must be limited to injection/fertigation. Use BeeWhere program to mitigate risks to bees/beneficials.

*There will be a limited opportunity for variances under exceptional circumstances where farm conditions (e.g., >5% slope, rocky soils, narrow vine rows) may make herbicide-alternatives cost-prohibitive. Variances based on these conditions are not guaranteed. Requests will be considered by a peer review committee. 

We’ve created a custom Weed Management Toolkit, which includes:

  • Frequently Ask Questions
  • “By the Numbers” case studies
  • Equipment & tools table, with pros & cons
  • Numerous resources
  • Our revised Prohibited & Restricted Pesticides list

Matching Funds: In the next few weeks, we’ll be putting out a call for applications for matching funds to support sustainability and climate action, including herbicide phaseout. 

Mentorship: For our certified members, we are cultivating a group of mentors to provide peer-to-peer input and advice.

Town Hall: Please join us for a happy hour event on Dec. 7 at St. Supery Estate to hear more about these program updates, and hear from peers with extensive herbicide-free viticultural experience, including hillsides. More details and registration below.

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NAPA GREEN PROGRAM COSTS

I know we’re all feeling the effects of inflation and rising costs of living. Napa Green hasn’t made any adjustments to program costs since 2021. We are now making some small 10-15% increases to our Vineyard Certification costs, Winery Integrated Resource Assessment costs, and annual Licensing fees.

Please note:

  • The Vineyard Certification costs (one-time) only cover roughly 25% of the value of the Carbon Farm Plans, Irrigation DU Assessments, and other staff support.
  • The Integrated Resource Assessment costs only cover the time for engineer Bill Bennett, and do not cover the broader staff work. In addition, these assessments focus on opportunities to improve efficiency and generate quick ROIs, reducing operational costs.
  • Our annual Licensing Fees only cover ~25% of our budget.  

Vineyard Certification and Integrated Resource Assessment costs are invoiced as you receive services. Annual Licensing Fees are invoiced in March. 

We hope you fully leverage and value the boots-on-the-ground regenerative farming and climate action consulting services that our team provides. If you have any questions about these changes please contact Anna Brittain, Executive Director, anna@napagreen.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS

November 30 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Implicit Bias Training at Dominus Estate with Nikki Silvestri, CEO, Soil and Shadow. This is a rare opportunity with an incredible DEI leader. Join us to explore what regenerative farming systems can teach us about regenerative social systems. Learn more and Register here.

December 7 | 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm – Town Hall at St. Supéry Estate. Join our team for happy hour wine and snacks and learn more about program updates. This will include an informal panel discussion with Ivo Jeramaz (Grgich Hills), Ashley Anderson Bennett (Cain), and one other discussing herbicide-free vineyard management, tools, costs, benefits, ROI. Learn more and Register here.

January 18 | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Grower Roundtable: Takeaways from 2023 at Alpha Omega. Producers have been subjected to a rollercoaster recently- from an extremely early harvest in 2022 due to heat, to one of the latest memorable harvests in 2023 due to a cool growing season. Join us, along with industry-leading winegrowers and vintners, to discuss the 2023 season and the techniques in the vineyard and cellar that can aid in adapting to the new norm of climatic extremes. Registration Coming Soon.

February 15 | 9:00 am – 1:30pm – Weed Management: Equipment, Tools & Grazing at Inglenook. Learn from Inglenook and others about equipment and tools being used for herbicide-free and organic weed management. See tools in action and ask questions. Then hear from Perennial Grazing about the benefits of sheep in the vineyard, and the essential importance of proper management. In addition, hear from Sarah Keiser with Wild Oat Hollow about the use of goats for adjacent land management and fire fuel thinning. We’ll look at a forested area and talk about potential prescriptions. Learn more and Register here.

GIVING (GREEN) TUESDAY

If you haven’t yet, get your Napa Green shirt! FOMO on fashion!

On November 28, jump into the global generosity movement of Giving Tuesday. Napa Green is an extremely lean nonprofit organization, and we need to grow our team so we can expand our direct implementation support. Community contributions truly mean so much to us, and every donation is tax deductible. 

Make a donation here, and know that in our office we’ll be doing a little happy dance.

RECOGNITION OF NAPA GREEN CERTIFIED VINEYARDS FOR CCSW-LABELED WINES

Napa Green Vineyard is now a recognized program for grapes included in Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) wines. This means that grapes grown in Napa Green Certified Vineyards can count toward the 85% threshold of certified sustainable fruit for CCSW-marketed wines using the logo on the label. 

Napa Green members interested in this option will have to take one additional step: The interim desk audits at the end of years 1 & 2 will need to be led by a third-party auditor (as opposed to our vineyard team), with an hourly cost (typically $150/hr for 3-4 hours of work), who will provide an independent audit report. Napa Green will provide both you and CCSW with a verification letter confirming that annual third-party audits have been completed. 

Please note, this does not mean that Napa Green Certified Vineyards will have dual certification with CCSW. That would require additional steps, which can be explored if interested. 

GREEN MEDAL APPLICATIONS DUE

The application for the California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards program is officially open through Jan. 12, 2024. California vineyards and wineries that participate in a sustainability program in California are eligible to apply in four award categories (Leader Award, Environment Award, Community Award and Business Award). Learn more and apply at greenmedal.org.

Twelve Napa Green members have been recognized with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Green Medal award since its inception in 2015.

The California Green Medal is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team.

NEW REGENERATION SPONSOR

We are excited to announce a new Napa Green Regeneration Sponsor, Lallemand Plant Care. Lallemand were Exclusive Event sponsors for the 2022 & 2023 RISE (formerly THRIVES) Climate & Wine symposiums. We look forward to more collaboration with them to pilot biologicals to improve soil and plant health. 

If you are interested in being a Napa Green sponsor, please see our Sponsorship Deck.

Napa Green Sponsors

Napa Green is grateful to our sponsors, who help fund our expanding operations and programs. If you are interested in becoming a Napa Green Sponsor please reach out to Napa Green Executive Director, Anna Brittain.

Seeking third party auditors! Email sierra@napagreen.org 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: 

📍@trefethenfamily 
📍@pineridgewine 
📍@cliffamily 
📍@neotempowines
📖 @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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