The grape growers and winemakers of Sonoma County are on their way to becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region within the next few years.
Consumers will be able to buy Sonoma County’s renowned and award-winning wines with the confidence that all of the region’s grapes and wines are certified as grown and made with the best sustainable practices.
“Our county’s grape growers and winemakers have long been at the forefront of creating and utilizing sustainable practices in the vineyard, in the winery, and in running their businesses, so this is the next natural step in their continue evolution,” said Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, an organization representing 1,800 winegrowers throughout Sonoma County.
Many Sonoma County vineyards and wineries are already using sustainable practices. This project will focus first on helping grape growers to assess how they currently farm their vineyards, with a goal of gathering data on every vineyard acre countywide.
Then verifiable certification programs will be set up for vineyards, grape growers, wineries, and winemakers. The goal is 100 percent sustainability for the Sonoma County wine industry by 2019.
With its first vineyards dating back to the 1820s, Sonoma County includes some of the world’s most prized grape-growing areas in the world.
The region’s unique combination of rich geological history, topography, and fog patterns generated by more than 50 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline have given rise to 17 unique American Viticultural Areas (AVAs or wine regions). Currently 59,218 acres are planted as vineyards, about 6 percent of Sonoma County’s total acreage.