Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Vineyard View

 

Evaluating Sustainable Certification Programs

March 2014
 
by Cliff Ohmart
 

More regional sustainable farming certification programs exist for winegrapes than for any other crop in the United States. By my count, there are six (see table at right). With so many options, it is worth discussing why there are so many programs and how to evaluate them.

After six years of hype, the Leonardo Academy (a nonprofit group dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture, LEED building and fire suppression) has finally made available for public comment what they are calling the National Sustainable Ag Standards. This is their attempt to establish a single set of sustainable farming practice standards for all crops throughout the United States.

Sustainable Certification Programs
 

There are several reasons why the U.S. wine industry has been an incubator for so many sustainable wine-growing certification programs. First, wine grape growers are progressive and proactive, and they have formed trade associations in many regions to meet local wine grape-growing challenges, with several focusing on the sustainable growing of wine grapes. Second, many sustainable wine-growing practices are correlated with good quality fruit that makes good wine. Third, terroir is a key factor in wine marketing, and some regional groups decided to connect regional identity with sustainable farming practices. Lastly, every winery is a brand unto itself—each with its own marketing program that can use the sustainable farming story, providing a comprehensive way to promote the region’s sustainable-certification programs.

Transparency is an essential element of a sustainable wine-growing certification program. Without it, potential members cannot determine how the program was developed or evaluate its rigor and credibility. The Internet is a great vehicle for presenting information about a program, but potential members must remain critical when interpreting what they see on a program’s website. It is easy to give a program the appearance of being credible with nice graphics and text, but be skeptical of any program that does not clearly present information about some of the following points.

Process vs. practice

 

 
The full content of this article is available for subscribers to the print edition of Wines & Vines magazine. Subscribe now and get instant, online access to the full content of Wines & Vines magazine!
 
Currently subscribed users please log in at the top of this page.
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 21-22
     
    BC Enology & Viticulture Conference
     
  • July 24
     
    Fresno Food Expo
     
  • July 24-27
     
    Taste our Terroir
     
  • July 25-27
     
    International Pinot Noir Celebration
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Harvest Intern
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Tasting Room Superviso...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Ecommerce/Wine Club Ma...
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Assistant Winemaker
 Cazadero, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Customer Service/Wine ...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Winery And Facilities ...
 Napa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Club Assistant
 Lompoc, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Club Liaison
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Intern
 Yamhill, OR
Winemaking and Production
 Entry Level Dispatch/C...
 American Canyon, CA
General Administration and
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.