Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
05.19.2010  
 

Northwest Wineries' Sustainable Steps

Chateau Ste. Michelle certifies vast vineyard acreage; Oregon wineries go carbon neutral

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Chateau Ste. Michelle
 
Washington's largest winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, recently achieved Salmon Safe and Low-Input Viticulture and Enology certification for 1,368 acres of vineyards, representing one-third of its vineyard acreage in the state.
 
Portland, Ore. -- Reducing carbon emissions, improving vineyard practices, reviewing water use—these are just some of the achievements and ambitions of Northwest wineries in 2010.

While financial health is one element of the so-called triple-bottom line embraced by sustainable development advocates, some wineries are not skipping the environmental and social considerations in the midst of ongoing economic challenges.

One of the biggest moves came this week, with Chateau Ste. Michelle’s announcement that its prize Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge vineyards had obtained certification through the Salmon-Safe Inc. and Low-Input Viticulture and Enology Inc. certification programs. Together, the two vineyards represent 1,368 acres of Columbia Valley vineyards—more than one-third of the winery’s acreage in the state.

Alternative text
 
Dan Kent, managing director of sustainability certifier Salmon Safe Inc., hopes Chateau Ste. Michelle's certification of Columbia Valley vineyards will pave the way for others in the region.
“Those sites are much larger than our typical Willamette Valley vineyard site, which tends to be 50 acres or so,” Dan Kent, managing director of Portland-based Salmon-Safe Inc., told Wines & Vines. While the organization is no stranger to Washington state, it’s primarily been active in the Walla Walla Valley. Certification of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s properties is a landmark move that Kent hopes will encourage other producers to sign on.

“We’ve really reached critical mass in Oregon. We now have somewhere between a third and a half of the vineyard acreage in the Willamette Valley,” Ken said. “In Washington state we’re really just seeing the momentum grow, and we see Chateau Ste. Michelle’s participation as a huge factor in future expansion throughout the interior Columbia.”

All told, Salmon Safe and LIVE have certified about 40 vineyards in Washington. The majority, 25 vineyards, are in the Walla Walla AVA.
“That was really our jumping-off point for the Washington wine industry,” Kent said. “We really hope to see that presence on the landscape throughout the Columbia Valley.”

To date, the industry’s dominant interest has largely been on grape production, rather than winery construction (Salmon Safe also offers a Construction Management Accreditation) or vineyard development, an area where accreditation has been discussed but without concrete steps taken to establish certification.

“(There’s) still an ongoing focus on vineyard management practices that has really been fundamental to sustainability and the quality of the wine,” Kent said of the situation among Oregon and Washington grapegrowers. “Carbon-neutral initiative and other sustainability programs are continuing to gain traction, but still the focus is the vineyard.”

That hasn’t stopped wineries from seeking to reduce carbon emissions, byproducts of burning fossil fuels that have been associated with climate change. The Oregon Environmental Council, in partnership with the Oregon Wine Board announced at the end of April that 14 Oregon wineries had completed the three-year Carbon Neutral Challenge, achieving a significant step towards net-zero carbon emissions. Completing wineries included Abacela, Sokol Blosser Winery and Winderlea Wine Co.

A total of 29 wineries participated in the program, submitting data to a carbon inventory developed by Portland-based Ecos Consulting Inc., then worked to reduce carbon emissions through changes both to business practices and capital investments.

Carbon offsets, credits representing the elimination or absorption of carbon emissions through various measures such as methane digesters, were purchased from verified sources to further reduce carbon emissions at the wineries. Ideally, the goal of offsets is to allow wineries to claim net-zero carbon emissions, but this was not allowed under the program without formal verification.

On the water front, wineries in Washington can look forward to a draft water plan for the Yakima Basin by this fall. Benton, Kittitas and Yakima counties earlier this year pledged participation in the initiative, spearheaded by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The draft plan should be ready this fall, and potentially it will affect how water is managed and made available to growers in relatively arid Eastern Washington.
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
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  
March 2013 $546 million
5%
$6,988 million
7%
March 2014 $572 million $7,451 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2013 $177 million
20%
$1,483 million
10%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2013 253
15%
166
27%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.14.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 19
     
    Appellation St. Helena food pairing competition
     
  • April 23
     
    Sustainable Vineyard Practices: Strategies for Using Less Water
     
  • April 23-26
     
    CABs of Distinction in Paso Robles
     
  • April 26
     
    Siera Pelona Valley wine festival
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Starbucks Expands Wine Sales to More Cities »
 
Pretty amazing that the 1st wines chosen are from Argentina, Italy, and New Zealand! I...
Reader: Jacques Brix
 
Article: Starbucks Expands Wine Sales to More Cities »
 
Given Starbucks commitment to sustainability and global responsibility, I expect this move could be a...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What to Do About Red Blotch »
 
There is NO correlation with planting density. Also FPS is working on the problem. New...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Premiere Wine Auction Nets $5.9 million »
 
Thanks for letting us know Janet, we've updated the story. Cheers
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Will Barrels Go the Way of Floppy Disks? »
 
Fun piece. Particularly enjoyed the three clearly superior attributes of standard barrels, including looking cool...
Reader: Tom Gable
 
 


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
 Accountant/Bookkeeper
 Healdsburg, CA
Finance
 Vip & Trade Coordinato...
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Pricing Systems Analys...
 San Francisco, CA
Finance
 Fine Wine Sales Repres...
 Seattle And Portland, OR
Sales and Marketing
 Maintenance Mechanic
 Healdsburg, CA
General Administration and
 Wine Sales South Bay
 Santa Clara, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Full Time Retail Wine ...
 New York, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Harvest Intern
 Yamhill, OR
Winemaking and Production
 Office Manager
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Staff Accountant
 Napa, CA
Finance
 
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.