California’s new wine labels make it easier to find eco-friendly wines

California’s Sustainable Wine-growing Alliance (CSWA) is trialling a new set of bottle labels to help drinkers make more environmentally choices in supermarkets.


The California Certified Sustainable labels were recently approved for use on the states’ 2017 vintage wines. They will first appear on white and rosé wine bottles later this year, with a separate category for reds set to be rolled out by 2020, reports the Washington Post.

The CSWA developed the labels to “enhance transparency, encourage statewide participation and advance the entire California wine industry toward best practices in environmental stewardship,” according to a statement on the organisation’s website.

Wineries will only be able to use the label if a minimum of 85% of their wines come from a vineyard with sustainable certification in California.

The news comes after the CSWA published its 2017 Sustainability report in January, charting the success of its near decade-long campaign to encourage wineries to boast about their eco-friendly credentials.

The CSWA launched “Certified Sustainable” in 2010, creating a certification option for growers and vintners which provides independent approval of their practices, from .

As of Last November, almost 127 wineries producing 74 percent of California’s wines are certified as sustainable under the organisation’s program, and the CSWA saw 46% more wineries join the program last year.

“The commitment to sustainability by California growers and vintners is truly impressive,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA’s executive director said at the time of its release. “This new report details examples of their high level of commitment. CSWA has publicly shared results since the inception of the program and this report advances the transparency we believe is critical for a credible certification program.”

Over the past 10 years, a number of states and wineries in the US and beyond have ramped up their approach to eco-friendly production.

Earlier this year the International Sustainable Winegrowing Network, a network of a dozen organisations involved in eco-friendly practices, met in Verona, Italy, to discuss how the problems wineries face with pollution and wastage can be tackled worldwide.

The Valpolicella Wine Board, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, Austrian Wine and Sustainable Australian Winegrowing are all members of the global body, and plan to hold a conference in a different country each year to help build the topic’s exposure internationally.

The opening meeting had a specific focus on new farming technologies with low environmental impact, and was designed to gain recognition for the global network.

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