SAN FRANCICSO — April is California wine’s 11th annual Down to Earth Month, a celebration of the wine community’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the land, regions and wine industry for future generations. State senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced a state senate concurrent resolution (SCR 88) declaring the designation each April going forward.
The California wine industry is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing:
80% of California wine (255 million cases) is made in 178 certified sustainable wineries.
55% of California’s vineyard acreage is certified sustainable.
2,402 Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing vineyards farm 204,857 acres, or 33% of California winegrape acres.
Another 22% of California winegrape acres are certified to other sustainability programs — including Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green, and Sustainability in Practice (SIP Certified®) — with some vineyards certifying to more than one program.
While sustainable practices may include elements of organic, Biodynamic© and regenerative farming, sustainability is broad in scope, encompassing energy and water efficiency, employee relations, community engagement and more.
“As the fourth largest wine-producing region, California has the most comprehensive and widely adopted sustainability programs in the world,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “April is the perfect time to support our member wineries across California, whether by visiting to taste and learn in-person or virtually.”
All month long, wineries and regional associations across California will highlight their sustainable farming, winemaking and business practices through a variety of fun and engaging events and activities, from wine tastings to vineyard hikes to behind-the-scenes sustainability tours. Many California wineries host outdoor activities — including active and wellness-oriented offerings — that encourage visitors to explore their beautiful, sustainably farmed winery estates.
There’s an array of Down to Earth Month winery events and offers to enjoy; see some examples below and the full list at the Discover California Wines’ website.
April 1-30: Celebrate Earth Month Discount
Visitors who bring their used wine corks to the tasting room at BARRA of Mendocino in Redwood Valley will receive a free sunflower seed pack and a 10% discount on regular-priced wines.
April 1-30: “Get Down to Earth with Us” Tasting
All month long at Austin Hope and Treana Tasting Cellar in Paso Robles, take a deep dive into how the estate’s soils impact what’s in the glass.
April 22-24: El Dorado Passport to the Great Out There
Your passport provides access to more than 25 participating wineries across El Dorado County, with many producers committed to sustainable growing and winemaking practices.
April 2-30: Ponte Vineyard Estate Tour
Board a 10-passenger electric bus and tour the 310-acre ranch at Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula. See how Ponte grows and makes its certified sustainable wines.
April 2: Lodi Wine Festival
The Lodi Wine Festival features wine tasting from up to 40 wineries, many committed to sustainability and certified through LODI RULES, pouring over 200 varieties.
About Wine Institute
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.