Napa, Sonoma wineries among vintners recognized for California sustainability efforts

Santa Rosa-based Jackson Family Wines and Trefethen Family Vineyards in Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll District are among the vintners honored with the California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.

“It’s a pleasure to recognize the California wine community’s cutting-edge leaders in sustainability through the California Green Medal Awards,” said Allison Jordan, executive director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a promoter of industry standards and one of the presenters of the awards.

Trefethen Family Vineyards received the groups’ Environmental Award. Organizers pointed to the winery’s multiple certifications for its efforts toward sustainability markers, including Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming, Green Business Program and Napa Green.

Award givers noted the winery's water system recycled almost two million gallons of water for vineyard use in 2021. “The family uses mechanical weed control practices along with an integrated approach to growing grapes, and encourages biodiverse predators such as beneficial wasps, owls, bats, bluebirds and hawks that help control insect and vertebrate pests,” the recognition stated.

Solar panels and use of electric vehicles help reduce its fossil fuel footprint while only 40 of the family’s 255-acre property is planted in vines, preserving oak and other native plans, the groups stated.

The awards also were presented by California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team.

With the goal of using smart business practices to help achieve environmental goals, the award organizers chose to recognize Jackson Family Wines with its Business Award.

“With vineyards and wineries throughout California, including in Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Santa Barbara and Sonoma counties, Jackson Family Wines embodies what it means to be a “smart business” by connecting sustainable practices to efficiencies, cost savings and innovation,” the group stated.

It added the wine company had invested over $18 million in sustainability efforts since 2015, which has resulted in over $29 million in cost savings stemming from energy efficiency, renewable energy, glass bottle light weighting and other innovations.

It has publicly committed to reducing the company’s carbon footprint in half by 2030 and becoming climate positive by 2050 without purchasing offsets and supports other wineries’ sustainability efforts through International Wineries for Climate Action which it co-founded.

Other winners were Wente Family Estate in the Livermore Valley appellation east of San Francisco and McManis Family Vineyards in the northern California interior.

Wente received the Leader Award for excelling in “environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable practices.” McManis received the Good Neighbor and Employer award for “using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.”

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