Has the craziness of the holiday season finally caught up with you? Are you looking to unwind and relax? Well, if you’re a wine lover there is nothing like a glass of wine at the end of the day to unwind with. You probably have your favorites to celebrate special occasions or just a nice table wine after a long day. Regardless of the situation, you want a delicious wine made from the best grapes. You want the best wine choices just like you do when you grocery shop for food. Well, this week we are here to tell you about some very sustainable options. Sit back, relax, and learn all about California Certified Sustainable wines from grapes to glass.
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
We’re here in sunny California to share with you the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance program, and what it means to drink a certified sustainable wine. Introduced in 2010, the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE) is administered by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA). The CSWA is a leader in promoting sustainable practices when it comes to winegrowing within the California wine community. For all of us that are wine drinkers, we know that quite a bit of the domestic wine we drink comes from the California wine community.
At this point, you probably have wine on the brain and are wondering how wine and Where Food Comes From go together? Let’s start by telling you a little about SureHarvest, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc. since 2016. SureHarvest works with diverse programs and collaborations to help with sustainability performance management. But, what does that really mean? This means that SureHarvest provides a platform solution that helps groups like the California Sustainable Winegrowers Alliance manage their sustainability efforts more effectively. Today, SureHarvest, through the assistance of Where Food Comes From, helps deliver the story to you, the consumer, about where your wine comes from with CSWA. You can say we are one big happy family.
On an annual basis, vineyards who participate with CSWA are audited to maintain their certifications. They must meet 58 vineyard and 37 winery prerequisite practices exceeding an overall score of 85%, which equates to a 2 or higher on a 1-4 scale. Having flashbacks yet of taking your ACT test? Well, this is a kind of a test for sustainable wine growers. Besides adhering to certain practices, they must also implement an integrated pest management approach that complies with restrictions on crop protection. An approved list of appropriate alternatives is provided. All of this must be documented along with their performance metrics, which include water, energy, and many other resources. All of this is a continual improvement process that the wineries and vineyards must prioritize and implement regularly. See, we weren’t kidding. The CSWA takes sustainable winegrowing very seriously, which equates to the best possible wine for consumers like you.
Benefits of CSWA Certified Sustainable Wine
There are many benefits when it comes to sustainability, one of them being the environment. During the sustainable winegrowing process, natural resources are preserved. It also improves air and water quality, which we need to survive every day. Sustainable growers and vintners help steward both human and natural resources. Cultivating and preserving the land, and contributing economically within those communities, is what sustainability is all about.
What’s the major takeaway? Vitners and growers attribute high-quality grapes used for wine production to their sustainable practices. This is a very detailed process that requires continuous improvement. Rest assured the CSWA always has your wine loving needs at heart. When it comes to the benefits, here’s the short version; high quality wine, good neighbors and employers, thriving business, and environmental protection. Who could ask for more?
How to Find CSWA Certified Vineyards and Wineries
Today, more than 2,000 vineyards and 149 wineries are CSWA Certified Sustainable. As of July 2019, more than 255,000,000 total cases of wine have been verified CSWA Certified Sustainable. That’s a ton of wine…actually that is much, much more than a ton of wine! The program’s growth continues to increase every year. CSWA Certified Sustainable is included in the domestic and international communication efforts of CSWA and the Wine Institute, which has export marketing programs for 25 countries.
The further the distance from California, the more important it becomes for wine regions and American Viticulture Area’s (AVA) to identify as being under the California umbrella. California winegrape growers and vintners have multiple factors to consider when choosing the right certification program. CSWA Certified Sustainable has more than 8 years of recognition in the wine marketplace, which should give you comfort when selecting wines certified by CSWA.
We’re glad you stuck around and hope we educated your palette when it comes to your next wine purchase. For a complete list of all Certified Sustainable wineries, vineyards, and wines check out the links below. Happy Holidays and happy wine tasting!
For a complete list of CSWA CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE wineries, click HERE.