‘Green’ Winemaking Has Come a Long Way

“Green” grape growing takes place under a number of names — including sustainable farming, biodynamic farming and so on.

But the movement toward more Earth-friendly practices really got its start during the 1970s, when “organic wine” became all the rage.

Charles L. Sullivan recalls that time in his book, A Companion to California Wine:

“The vineyardists who want to ‘go organic’ must shun pesticides, herbicides and commercial fertilizers. They must also limit mildew control to the application of elemental sulfur.

“By the 1990s, more than 60 California wineries controlled vineyards certified by the California Certified Organic Farmers, an independent regulatory organization…

“Some vineyard owners now contend that, although an organic approach is more labor intensive at first, in the long run it is less expensive than conventional viticulture is.”

The “green” winegrape movement has come a long way since Sullivan wrote that book, both in the types of Earth-friendly practices now being embraced and the number of participating wineries and grape growers. Peruse our “Wine & the Environment” archives, and you’ll see what we mean.

Posted in Wine and the Environment
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