California adopting sustainable winemaking

Californian producers are showing “broad participation” in the sustainable winemaking programme run by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, according to its latest report.

California sustainability report 2015The CSWA’s Community Sustainability report, which was released last week, says that wineries representing 69% of California’s winegrape acreage and 79% of cases produced in the state have now taken part in its programmes since 2002.

In 2015, 483 vineyards and 91 wineries achieved official sustainability certification under the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) initiative, covering 64% of the state’s wine production.

The report also claims that more wineries than ever are taking part in stricter sustainability targets under a 2013 update of CSWA guidance.

As many as 802 vineyards representing 117,000 winegrape acres used the new 2013 Code Workbook to evaluate and improve their practices, the report claimed.

The report’s headline figures for 2015 include:

  • 85% of growers used micro-irrigation systems to target irrigation, optimise water use and conservation
  • 82% of growers reduced energy use through water pump improvements, the largest energy saving opportunity in the vineyard
  • 74% of vintners conducted an energy audit of their winery within last five years to save energy and costs
  • 84% of vintners encouraged employees to provide suggestions for improving operational efficiency to enhance sustainability

Allison Jordan, CSWA executive director, said: “As the world’s fourth largest wine producer, California has one of the most comprehensive and widely adopted sustainability programs of its kind.

“The high percentage of adoption of sustainable practices reflects the commitment of the industry to continuously improve.”

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