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.
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
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.
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.
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
Benefits of Sustainable Winegrowing Program Participation
"Top Ten Ways to Get More from Program Participation"
Once you attend a self-assessment workshop and return your self-assessment results, all these added benefits of participation are available:
- Receive a password for an online account and take advantage of the many new features available online.
- Easily reassess your operation online and link directly to topical resources to learn about beneficial practices as you go through the assessment.
- Attend workshops and get detailed information on how to improve certain practices, conserve resources and save money.
- Generate customized reports online when needed with data you choose to easily evaluate different areas of your operation and regenerate reports to demonstrate improvement over time.
- Create online action plans to help implement new practices, save your plans in your online account to easily access and refine them, and read examples of other growers and vintners' action plans.
- Communicate sustainability to your customers by displaying a Certificate of Participation and program brochures.
- Learn about ways to access financial incentive and cost-share programs when implementing certain practices and print reports that streamline the application process for EQUIP funds.
- Be part of an online community of progressive growers and vintners and share information and tips in the login-only section of the website.
- Allow multiple users from your operation to access certain areas of your online account to easily collaborate on adoption of practices.
- Search the resources section of the website to find valuable information on sustainable practices and case studies on specific practices.
For information on the SWP confidentiality policy, please click here.
To view a PDF of an overview presentation to learn more about the Sustainable Winegrowing Program, please click here: Webinar Workshop May 2016.