A Wine Lover’s Guide to Sustainable Winery Certifications

A Wine Lover’s Guide to Sustainable Winery Certifications

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Guide to sustainable winery certifications Credit: Francesco Sgura

Navigating the world of wine certifications will be overwhelming. There are quite a few labels, awards and designations. It is because of this, we’ve put collectively a follow-up to our article about what the term “sustainable wine” means and why it matters.

Welcome to our Wine Lover’s Guide to Sustainable Winery Certifications, which you should utilize to assist navigate the rising pattern of sustainable wine, perceive the completely different choices out there and be capable of precisely hunt down wineries prioritizing eco-friendly and moral practices.

From SIP to LEED, we’ll break down what every certification means and the way it will help you make extra knowledgeable selections concerning the wine you drink.

Organically Certified Wine

The time period “natural” can have various laws relying on the nation. In the United States, an “natural” certification for wine means the wine has been licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program, which has very strict laws for grape rising and winemaking.

For instance, the usage of artificial fertilizers is totally prohibited and some other supplies used within the winemaking course of should even be licensed natural. Additionally, no sulfites are allowed in natural wines within the US.

While the laws for natural wine might differ barely in different nations, the core precept stays the identical.

Biodynamic Wine

Biodynamic winemaking goes past natural practices and takes a extra holistic strategy. However, some biodynamic practices are thought-about controversial as they incorporate parts thought-about to be unorthodox.

One of the distinctive elements of biodynamic winemaking is the usage of the moon calendar to information the timing of pruning, watering and choosing. This relies on the assumption the moon impacts the grapes and wine. Additionally, biodynamic winemakers typically incorporate nature in different methods, equivalent to utilizing livestock for pest management or making their very own fertilizers.

To obtain biodynamic certification within the US, winemakers will need to have been farming biodynamically for at the very least three years. They should additionally meet natural farming requirements whereas incorporating regenerative agriculture practices and preserving 10% of their land for biodiversity.

B Corporation (as a Winery Certification)

B Corporation certification is common amongst European companies, however additionally, you will see it within the US. It combines environmental and social requirements and is without doubt one of the most complete packages out there. Wineries that select to turn into B Corps are dedicated to utilizing low-impact farming strategies and accountable useful resource administration, in addition to treating their workforce, group and pure environment pretty and responsibly. You can easily search for B Corp wineries to help these making a constructive influence.

SIP Certified Wine

The SIP (Sustainability in Practice) vineyard certification was established in California in 2008 to have fun wineries incorporating sustainable practices all through their operations. This can embrace sustainable water administration and natural farming practices. To be SIP licensed, winemakers are permitted to make use of some chemical substances, however in restricted portions.

In addition to sustainable farming practices, the SIP certification locations a powerful emphasis on the moral therapy of employees. Wineries should guarantee all workers are handled pretty and obtain particular wage necessities and medical insurance coverage.

Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW)

The CCSW certification is just like the SIP certification as a result of it acknowledges wineries which have integrated sustainable practices all through their vineyards, wineries and cellars, in addition to their therapy of workers.

However, the CCSW certification takes a special strategy to the usage of chemical substances. There is a listing of chemical substances labelled as both crimson or yellow. CCSW certification prohibits the usage of red-listed chemical substances and requires justification for the usage of yellow-listed merchandise. 

This certification is good for shoppers in search of wineries aware of water and vitality consumption, in addition to recycling efforts. It highlights these wineries which have made a concerted effort to prioritize sustainable practices.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a definite certification from those talked about above. Wineries can receive this certification along with SIP or CCSW. This is as a result of LEED is targeted on the sustainable design of a constructing relatively than farming practices. The certification has particular necessities for vineyard buildings to fulfill to be thought-about “inexperienced” or sustainable. By reaching this certification, wineries can show their dedication to decreasing their environmental influence by means of their constructing design and building.

Lodi Rules Certification

Lodi Rules is a certification program originated in California. It acknowledges wineries within the United States that prioritize sustainable practices. To receive the certification, wineries should meet requirements in a number of areas. These embrace Business Management, Human Resources Management, Ecosystem Management, Soil Management, Water Management and Pest Management. By specializing in these key parts, Lodi Rules promotes a complete strategy to sustainability encompassing not solely environmental practices, but in addition social and financial duty.

Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) Certification

Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) is a non-profit group centered on certifying Pacific Northwest wineries engaged in sustainable farming practices. In order to be licensed, wineries should adhere to a guidelines protecting varied elements of their operations, equivalent to vine planting, watering and fertilization. The certification course of additionally considers greenhouse emissions, vitality utilization and waste administration, amongst different components. 

By reaching LIVE certification, wineries can show their dedication to sustainable agriculture and environmental stewardship.

As you possibly can see, there are fairly a couple of sustainable vineyard certifications out there. While we’ve got but to cowl each single one, we’ve highlighted the preferred ones. By searching for out wines with these certifications, you may make a aware effort to drink extra sustainably and reside a greener way of life.