Wineries Adopt New Certified Sustainable Logo   View email in your browser

New Sustainable Logo Debuts
March 2018

Early adopter: Claudio Ponte

Notice anything new? That blue CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE logo on the 2017 Ponte Winery Arneis is among the first on a California wine bottle, reflecting the evolution of the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing program. Beginning with the 2017 vintage, qualifying wineries may use the logo on bottles to inform consumers of their certified status. Wines made in certified wineries with at least 85 percent of grapes from certified California vineyards meet the requirements for logo use, and Temecula’s Ponte Winery leapt at the opportunity. Managing partner Claudio Ponte explains why:

You are one of the first California wineries to put the CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE logo on a bottle. What drove that decision?
There was no real decision. It was just a question of when we would be allowed to. The instant it was allowed, it was a no-brainer. The fact that the logo is now on the bottle is a nice bonus, but our efforts have never changed.

We did not behave any differently before certification, but we thought it had value to have an outside agency certify our efforts. We’ve been putting the logo on cartons, on posters—wherever it's allowed. It’s a source of pride for us.

Some vintners and grape growers say they’re sustainable but haven’t sought certification. Any words of advice?
If you want your team (especially the people under 30), if you want your clientele (especially the people under 40), if you want your children to believe that you’re actually doing it, if it matters to you as a company, you have to have somebody certify it.

How do you think certification has benefited Ponte?
It gives credibility to our claims. We’ve been behaving this way for 20 years, but for the last seven, it has been verified that what we say is what we do. A symbol that says we want to behave in a responsible manner is important internally, too. When I see somebody leave the lights on, I can say, “How sustainable is that?” I’m old-school Italian. We try not to waste!

Do you believe certification is important to your customers?
I absolutely think it is. With consumers today, every small brand is subject to doubt, particularly a product that goes inside your body. People rightfully need to be suspicious that what’s in the product is what you say. If a company is willing to put themselves through an audit, that resonates with consumers. Not all consumers, by any means, but enough to make it worth the effort.

You have a big visitor program, with a restaurant and an inn. How do you minimize the environmental impact of your hospitality program?
Mostly, we measure. We keep track of how many gallons of water and how many kilowatts of energy we use and how many tons of garbage we produce and we try to diminish. That’s what informs most of our decisions. If it’s not measurable, it’s hard to manage. The certification program teaches us to measure. We could go on for hours about our compostable plates and our employees’ re-useable coffee mugs, but that’s not the guiding principle. There will come a time when sustainability is taken for granted by every company, when it becomes matter-of-fact and you don’t have to talk about it because it’s a given.


Sustainable table: Ponte guests

We know sustainability is a journey, not a destination. How will Ponte continue to improve?
That’s the big question, and some of the answer depends on forces out of our control, like regulation and the cost of fuel. Priorities change from year to year. We look where the low-hanging fruit is, but the low-hanging fruit moves up the tree as you pick it. And the tree grows to the sky in this case. Some things work, and some don’t. We’ve tried to get employees to carpool but it’s an uphill battle. If I can make a change by writing a memo, that change takes precedence because I know it will get done.

Copyright 2018 Wine Institute

What’s New?


Learn more about the requirements of CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE HERE.
Don't Miss 2018 Down to Earth Month Events this April!:

Visit the "Down to Earth" webpage to learn more about Wine Institute's 7th annual celebration of California's leadership in sustainable winegrowing. The webpage features green-themed winery events as well as a new video, California Wines Down to Earth, highlighting sustainable winegrowing. This video will be shown at 26 Vonn's Pavilions throughout the month of April.
The new Down to Earth video highlights California's sustainable winegrowing practices.
Seasonal Recipes

Enjoy Wine Institute's fresh, seasonal, easy-to-prepare recipes with California wine pairing suggestions HERE

Moroccan Chicken with Roasted Lemons and Green Olives

Did You Know? 

In 2017 CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE saw a 46% growth in the number of certified vineyards and 20% growth in the number of certified wineries.
Resources • Publications

California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook:  Download individual chapters or the entire workbook to learn more about sustainability in your vineyard or winery HERE.
The Value of Certification:

As part of CSWA's Economic Tools project, this six-page document outlines reasons to get certified, explores costs and benefits, and provides a guide through the certification process. Learn more 
Workshops & Webinars:

April 17:  Sustainable Winegrowing and Certification Webinar,10:00–11:30 am
Down to Earth: a monthly newsletter celebrating the commitment of California vintners and growers to sustainable winegrowing and winemaking.
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