The Sustainable Winegrowing Program's mission, vision and values best describe the combination of factors that motivated the California wine community to design, develop, implement and report on a comprehensive sustainability program.

Mission

The long-term mission for the Sustainable Winegrowing Program includes:

  • Establishing voluntary high standards of sustainable practices to be followed and maintained by the entire wine community
  • Enhancing winegrower-to-winegrower and vintner-to-vintner education on the importance of sustainable practices and how self-governing will enhance the economic viability and future of the wine community
  • Demonstrating how working closely with neighbors, communities and other stakeholders to maintain an open dialogue can address concerns, enhance mutual respect, and accelerate results

Vision

The vision of the Sustainable Winegrowing Program is the long-term sustainability of the California wine community. To place the concept of sustainability into the context of winegrowing, the program defines sustainable winegrowing as growing and winemaking practices that are sensitive to the environment (Environmentally Sound), responsive to the needs and interests of society-at-large (Socially Equitable), and are economically feasible to implement and maintain (Economically Feasible). The combination of these three principles is often referred to as the three "E's" of sustainability (see Figure 1).

To view a PDF of the introductory presentation from a self-assessment workshop to learn more about the program please click here.
Figure 1
Sustainability as defined by the three overlapping principles of Environmentally Sound, Economically Feasible and Socially Equitable.

These three overarching principles provide a general direction to pursue sustainability. However, these important principles need to be translated into the everyday operations of winegrowing and winemaking. To bridge this gap between general principles and daily decision-making, the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices workbook's 15 self-assessment chapters translate the sustainability principles into specific winegrowing and winemaking practices.

Values

This program is guided by the following set of sustainability values:

  • Produce the best quality winegrapes and wine possible
  • Provide leadership in protecting the environment and conserving natural resources
  • Maintain the long-term viability of agricultural lands
  • Support the economic and social wellbeing of farm and winery employees
  • Respect and communicate with neighbors and community members; respond to their concerns in a considerate manner
  • Enhance local communities through job creation, supporting local business and actively working on important community
  • Honor the California wine community's entrepreneurial spirit
  • Support research and education as well as monitor and evaluate existing practices to expedite continual improvements