A news release issued on Sunday—a strange day of the week for news releases, not to mention the fact that it was April Fool’s Day—caught my eye because of the ever-growing emphasis on sustainability.
More and more grape growers are finding ways to give back to the land, rather than simply take from it. Back in the 1960s, that could have been considered a “hippie” idea. But today, with the world’s population now exceeding 7 billion, sustainability no longer is a concept that can be ignored.
But back to that Sunday news release. Its topic represents what would seem to be the next logical step in the sustainability movement as it pertains to the wine industry.
With that as a prelude, here is the text of the release…
Since 2008, Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certification has provided independent, third-party verification of sustainability practices in 27,000 acres of California vineyards, so “taking it to the winery level was the logical next step,” said Kris Beal, Executive Director of the Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT), the non-profit group which developed SIP certification.
Though still in the planning stages, the winery process certification will rigorously review a number of factors, including energy efficiency, water use, glass and paper recycling, and even what kind of materials are used in packaging and collateral marketing materials. As with the vineyard certification, the elements of social equity and financial sustainability will also be taken into account.
“With the SIP seal already validating about 300,000 cases of wine made with SIP certified grapes, we wanted to make sure the consumer had yet another level of assuredness about the choices they were making,” said Beal. “We also realized that our winery members were very interested in this aspect as well. For them, it’s really one of the best ways they can prove their own commitment to sustainability, to protecting natural and human resources, and—above all—crafting a quality product.”
Beal noted that CCVT has also received inquiries from other agricultural representatives about the possibility of adapting the SIP label to crops beyond winegrapes.
You can learn more about SIP certification, and view of list of currently certified wineries, by visiting the SIP website.