RISE Climate & Wine Symposium Activates 750 Guests and Raises $75,000 for Industry Climate Action Implementation

NAPA, Calif.April 27, 2023 – The RISE Climate & Wine Symposium was an immense success, with over 750 guests across the six events, including more than 60 leading speakers and 40 “Sustainable Services & Solutions” sponsors and partners. This is the second year of Napa Green’s Symposium. During each event Executive Director Anna Brittain appealed to the audience, “Please commit to at least one action, one result, that you will take from this event.” Commit they did, with dozens of industry leaders sharing planned actions. At the final “Climate Action & Regenerative Agriculture” event on April 20 the audience of over 150 guests all stood and said their commitments aloud.

Commitments included exploring the use of kegs in the tasting room at Sterling Vineyards and Brooks Wine (Willamette Valley). Jason Haas of Tablas Creek shared that shifting to kegs had a payback of just 18 months. Others committed to lighten glass weight, and track energy and water use, recognizing the energy cost to transport, heat and treat water. We can’t manage what we don’t measure. There were also commitments to achieve Napa Green Winery and Vineyard certification.

“Validation by Napa Green is not a one and done certification,” notes Michael Silacci, Winemaker at Opus One Winery. “The bar is constantly being raised to coax wineries and growers to reach greater heights. The standards are set for leaders in the industry.”

Marquee speaker Maryam Ahmed shared that last year’s symposium introduced her to Heather Paulsen Consulting, who donated services to assist Maryam+Company in achieving B Corp certification, which was announced this month.

Jim Gordon, Senior Editor of The Wine Enthusiast, attended the final event. “I was activated at RISE and realized I could be doing more. I am committing to writing more about climate action and spotlighting bottle weight and other opportunities.”

Social equity is often sidelined in sustainability conversations. Nikki Silvestri (Soil and Shadow) and Tod Mostero (Dominus Estate) had a mentorship conversation exploring what cultivating farm biodiversity can teach us about consistently cultivating diversity in the workplace. Silvestri observed, “Fertility is increasing the complexity of relationships in the system.” Mostero committed to create a “brain trust” – a defined space for diverse and safe feedback.

In concert with the RISE events, Napa Green partnered with champion members Spottswoode Estate, Chimney Rock Winery, and Boisset Collection to host a series of intimate wine benefit dinners. The dinners raised a $75,000 pool of matching funds to support industry sustainability and climate action projects for those with the greatest financial need. Examples include a compost:biochar application; planting a hedgerow; shifting to lightweight glass and “green” packaging.

“One of the greatest challenges we all face is inertia,” says Brittain. “These grants will facilitate change. Evidence shows once you take one action you’re more likely to take another.” The call for applications will open in summer/fall.

During her Marquee address Ahmed incited the audience: “You have to do it to evolve it and you can’t evolve without feedback and involving others. Invite as many people as possible into finding solutions, making change. And take action now, with urgency.”

RISE is about building the relationships and partnerships, and critically, providing the support, to act with urgency and set the industry bar for climate action leadership. If you missed any of the impact-oriented content, recordings of the six events will soon be publicly available on www.RISEGreen.org.

A huge thanks to event host Charles Krug Winery, all of our sponsors, volunteers, the Planning Committee, and the incredible Napa Green team.

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.​

- Susan Boswell, Chateau Boswell Winery