SAN FRANCISCO — The California Green Medal winners have been announced for the fourth annual Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. The California Green Medal recognizes the leadership of wineries and vineyards committed to sustainability and is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team. Four Green Medals are presented in the following categories: Leader, Environment, Community and Business. The recipients of the Green Medal Awards will be honored at a ceremony at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on April 11, 2018.
Winners of the 2018 Green Medals are:
LEADER AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that excels in the three “E’s” of sustainability — Environmentally sound, socially Equitable and Economically viable practices.
Winner: Bogle Vineyards, located in Clarksburg, CA, embodies leadership in sustainability. For the past three generations, sustainability has been at its core, and they demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by certifying 1,200 acres of estate vineyards to LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing and certifying their winery to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. Since 2010, Bogle has encouraged its partner-growers to practice sustainability by paying a total of $2.8 million in bonuses for certifying vineyards to LODI RULES, with over 92% of their grapes coming from certified vineyards. Employees are treated like family, with a dozen employees having spent 20-plus years at the company, and the average employee has been there for more than a decade. Good work relations are fostered through quarterly staff luncheons that feature presentations on the latest sustainability practices and other teambuilding exercises.
ENVIRONMENT AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Environmental Stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.
Winner: St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, based in Rutherford in Napa Valley, is a 100% estate grown, sustainably farmed vineyard and winery. Driven by their commitment to environmental stewardship, they have preserved two-thirds of their acreage to promote biodiversity and protect the land for future generations. In the past three years, the winery has reduced their water use by 50% by capturing rainwater and reusing winery water for irrigation, and solar panels cover 80% of their electricity needs. St. Supéry’s Green Team educates employees on green practices and upholds a strict purchasing policy of using materials that are at least 50% post-consumer waste. The company offers incentives for carpooling to work, with 65% of employees participating.
COMMUNITY AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that is a Good Neighbor & Employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.
Winner: KG Vineyard Management, based in Lodi, CA, is a custom farm management business committed to sustainable farming. Having vineyards certified to LODI RULES for Sustainable Winegrowing for the last 12 years, the company believes in maintaining and contributing to the legacy of healthy soil, air, water and the local community. KG is active in the area’s leadership roles and strives to fulfill a vision of success for Lodi and the surrounding community. They invest in the future–the future of the land, human resources, local youth and family. KG is a leader in fostering strong relationships with clients, employees and neighbors. KG’s employees are their biggest asset and safety training is implemented monthly and they provide training in Urdu, native to Pakistan and India, the primary language between the foremen and crews.
BUSINESS AWARD, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.
Winner: Cakebread Cellars, located in Napa, CA, has been committed to sustainability since its inception in 1973. Cakebread believes that sustainability means investing in its employees to help them achieve their career objectives and enjoy healthy work/life balance. That’s why they offer a generous vacation policy and host an ongoing “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” education series featuring outside speakers to share expertise on all elements of a healthy lifestyle. Cakebread invests in the longevity of its employees by tightly controlling operation costs and eliminating waste wherever possible. In fact, they diverted 92% of their total annual waste in the past two years. It’s not just the big initiatives or investments that define Cakebread — it’s the day-to-day details and decisions that have helped save costs and create a culture of conservation.
“The Green Medal recognizes the commitment and dedication to sustainability by California growers and vintners,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “It’s always a challenge selecting four winners from the many amazing applications received from vineyards and wineries of all sizes from throughout California. The judging panel was impressed by the breadth and depth of sustainable practices being used to conserve water and energy, maintain healthy soil, protect air and water quality, preserve wildlife habitat, and enhance relations with employees and communities, all while improving the economic vitality of vineyards and wineries.”
A panel of wine and sustainability experts judged the applications for the fourth annual California Green Medal. They include Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission; David Glancy, Master Sommelier, San Francisco Wine School; Allison Jordan, Executive Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Kelli McCune, Senior Manager, Sustainable Conservation; Michelle Novi, Industry Relations Manager, Napa Valley Vintners; Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly; Kate Piontek, Vice President of Operations, Sonoma County Winegrowers; and Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certified® Manager, Vineyard Team.
Award sponsors are — Exclusive Media Sponsor: Wine Business Monthly; Gold Sponsor: Rivercap; Silver Sponsors: Protected Harvest, Farm Credit Alliance and Marin Clean Energy; and, Bronze Sponsors: CC Wine Caves and WM EarthCare.
Partnering organizations include: Fish Friendly Farming, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association, Napa County Resource Conservation District, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, San Luis Obispo Wine Country Association, Santa Barbara Vintners, Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance.
Visit the Green Medal Awards website for more information.