1. What is Sustainable Wine?
    2. Sustainable Associations
    3. Areas of Sustainable Winegrowing
    4. Soil Health


SUSTAINABLE VITICULTURE Viticulture Attempt to Minimize Envioroental Impact On the Vineyards and Grapes Produced.  A Set of Practices That Are Environmentally Sound, Socially Equitable and Economically Viable.

  • Vineyard is a Living Organism Which Can Be Maintained In a Self Sustaining Way.“”

Agriculture That Promotes a Self Sustaining, Diverse Ecosystem Within the Vineyard and Winery That Focuses On Prevention Rather Than Treatment.



  • Goal is to Make the Best Wine Possible While Being Sustainable.


  • Goal is to Be Environmentally Sound- Taking Care of the Land Today and For Future Generations.


  • Goals Are to Socially Equitable- Worker Are Safe, Trained, Healthy and Motivated.


  • Goal is to Be Economically Profitable- Great Wine is Important But Making Money is the Most Important Thing.
  • Voluntary, Self-Governing, High Standard Program Followed and Maintained by the Entire Community Oversee.
    • Economically Viable
    • Environmentally Friendly
    • Socially Equable

The California Sustainable Wine-Growing Alliance Implements The California Sustainable Wine-Growing Program SWP. by Focusing On a Collection of Resources That Include the California Code of Sustainable Wine-Growing.


  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~California Sustainable Winemakers Alliance~ CSWA.
    • Mission~ Nonprofit Organization That Promotes Environmental Stewardship and Social Responsibility In the California Wine Community.
      • 58 Viticulture and Viniculture Prerequisites For Certification.
      • 127 Wineries, 1099 Vineyards
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Sustainability In Practice~ SIP.
    • SIP. Helps Farmers and Winemakers Demonstrate Their Dedication to Preserving and Protecting Natural and Human Resources. SIP. Certified is a Rigorous Sustainable Vineyard and Winery Certification with Strict, Non-Negotiable Requirements, Committed to Standards Based On Science and Expert Input, Independent Verification, Transparency, and Absence of Conflict of Interest.
    • SIP. Certified is About Great Vines, Heathy Vineyards, and the Well Being of Workers.
  • ASSOCIATIONS~Lodi Rules, Sustainable Winegrowing~ (Lodi, California)
    • Mission~ Support Farmer, Vintners and Entire Agricultural Community That Embraces Their Responsibility to Are For the Environment and the People.
      • Water- Carefully Managing Qualityand Efficiency While Appreciation Every Drop.
      • Ecosystem- Encouraging Biodiversity and  Practicing Stewardship.
      • Community- Engaging and Supporting Our neighborhoods.
      • People- Making Our Vineyards a Safe, Rewarding Environment to Work In.
      • Soil- Building Organic matter and Maximizing Water Penetration.
      • Pest Management- Using an Integrated System Which Includes Natural Predator and Minimizes Risk to Birds Bees, Water, and People.
      • Quality- Producing Exceptional, Flavorful Grapes to Turn Into Remarkable Wines.
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Napa Green~ (Napa, California)
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Fish Friendly Farming~
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Haute Valeur Environnementale~ HVE. (France)
    • Mission~ French Environmental Certification For Grape Growers
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~National Sustainability Code of the Chilean Wine Industry~ (Chile)
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Greening Waipara~ (Waipara Valley, New Zealand)
    • Mission~ Looks For Ways to Restore “Functional Biodiversity” In the Region.
    • Sonoma Country                      New Zealand
    • Chile                                       Oregon



  • WATER MANAGEMENT Drip Irrigation- Uses Systems That Allows For Targeted Release of Water, This Optimizes Water Use and Conservation.
    • Have On Site Water Pond.
    • Growers Develop Water management Plans or Strategies For Their Vineyards.
    • Using Technology or Innovation to Determine Water Use and a Watering Regiment Where’s Water Coming From, How Much is Currently In the Soil and How Much Does the Vine Actually Need. Finding the Perfect Match is Exactly How Much Water is Need is Essential.
    • Regulated Deficit Irrigation- Reduce Irrigation Volume, Control Vegetative Growth and Improves Fruit and Wine Quality.
    • We Now Have the Ability to Match Varietal With Rootstock, Soil, Place, Climate.
      • Blind Cycle Aimlessly Watering Vineyard as a Whole.
      • Gray Water Recycled Water Gathered by Buckets or Water Catchers.
    • Vineyard Water Conservation- Over the Decades Standard Industry Practice Was to Use 6- 7 Gallons of Water to Produce 1 Gallon of Wine.  Currently Industry Standard is Down to 2- 3 Gallon of Water to Produce 1 Gallon o Wine.  This is Achieved by Using Low-Flow, High-Pressure Nozzles on Hoses and Better Efficiency In Properly Cleaning Barrels.
    • Water Quality-


  • Examples-
    • Solar Energy, Bio Fuel, Manual Labor.
    • Floating Solar Panels on Reservoirs or Ponds to Benefit From Renewable Energy.
    • Wineries Conducting Yearly Energy Audits.


ENTOMOLOGY The Study of Insects, AKA=Bug Guy

  • You Have to Attract Good Bugs, to Do That you Must Attract Them by Planting Plants That They’re Attracted to.

INSECTARIES Area or Gardens to Propagate Bugs. Production and Application of Beneficial Organisms Areas Used In Biological Pest Control and Integrated Part of Sustainable Programs. Wineries Today Are Setting Aside Areas of Vineyard Dedicated to Insectaries.

INSECT HOTELS- Wine Barrels Cut in Half (From Top to Bottom) and Placed Near Vineyards.  These Barrels Provides a Habitat For Beneficial Insects to Live In.

The Goal is to Have the Insects Manage Themselves by a Regulating Predator/ Pray Hierarchy Encouraged by Planting Dicon Radish, Bell Beans and Other Plants That Produce Nectar to Attract Predatory Insects.

    • Egg Wasps/ Bees
    • Spiders Put In Cellars to Eat Bugs that Eat Corks.
    • Liken Plant/ Mold Feeding On Calcium From Limestone Ceilings Cave Are Dug Into.
    • Worms Help Aerate the Soils.
    • Owl Boxes/ Raptor Perches Attract Predatory Owl/ Birds  to Nest In Vineyard. A Nesting Pair of Owls Consumes Multiple Gophers, Mice Rats and Other Rodents Each Day.
      • This Creates a Resident Bird Population Which Patrol the Vineyard, Which the the Most Sustainable Way to Control Rodents In the Vineyard and Without the Use of Poisons, Traps and Extra Vehicle Passes Through the Vineyard.
      • Owl Are Active at Night and Hawks and Falcons During the Day.
      • Standard Practice is One Owl Box For Every 10 Acre of Vineyard.
    • Blue Birds, Humming Birds- All Birds Feed Hatchlings a Diet of Bug Protein.
    • Bats Nocturnal Bats Keep the Harmful Insect population In Check During the Night Tine.

Without ‘Birds of Prey” In Vineyards  the Rodent Population Would Explode In Certain Areas.

    • Vine Friends: Wasp, Owl, Preying Mantis
      • LadyBugs- Selective Predator Bug That Usually Only Eats Aphids, and Leafhoppers Newly Born Nymphs.
    • Vine Pests: Bugs, Flock Birds
      • Berry Damagers Cut-Worm Berry-Moth Glea Beetle/ Japanese Beetle, Leaf roller Looper
      • Leaf Damagers Red Mite, Leafhopper, Mealy Bug, JuneBug Aphid
      • Wood Damagers Twig Borer, Cane Girdler, Cane Gallmaker
      • Root Damagers Root Worm, Mites, Mealybugs, Grape Root Borer, Glassy Winged SharpShooter
    • Insecticides Nobody Wants to Use Them, They’re Time Consuming and $$$.
    • Pheromones Hormone Disrupters That Interrupts Pest and Insects Reproduction.
    • Oils Applied at the Base of Grape-Vine Trunk to Hinder/ Discourage Insects From Crawling Up Trunk.
    • Rose Bushes
      • Rose Bushes Add Beauty, Color and Contribute to the Overall Romantic Atmosphere In a Vineyard.  But Did You Know Rose Bushes Are Planted at the End of Each Vine Rows to Be Used as a Biological Alarm to Insects and Diseases In the Vineyard.  Grape Vines and Rose Bushes Are Both Very Delicate and Susceptible to the Same Diseases and Climate Situations.  If a Rose Bush Shows Mildew, Leaf Problems, Doesn’t Bloom or Displays Pest Attacks Above or Below Ground it Should Act as an Alarm to the Vineyard Manager to a Potential Pending Issue In Vineyard.  
    • Dogs Keep Rabbits and Dears Out of the Vineyards.
    • Horse Plowing Horses In the Vineyard Instead of a Tractor Harkens Back to Centuries Past Before Mechanization the Horse Was the Work Horse of the Winery.

Micro-Organism Attract Plants, Which Attracts Bugs, Which Bring Wildlife/ Animals.


SOIL MANAGEMENT-  The Application of Operations, Practices and Treatments  to Protect Soil and Enhance Performance of the Vineyard or Crop. Promote Long Term Soil Health and a Quality Relationship to the Vine.

SOIL-  The Upper Layer of Earth In Which Plants Grow. Usually a Dark Brown or Black Material Generally Consisting of a Variety of: Organic Matter, Minerals, Organisms That Together Support Life and Plants.

  • Pedosphere- The Outermost Layer of Earth That is Comprised of Sol and Subject to Soil Formation Processes.  It Exists at the Interface of Lithosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere.
  • Sufficient Soil Depth For Adequate Root Growth.
  • Good Soil Drainage and Aeration.

After Harvest Mindful Growers Look to How They Can Give Back to the Soil and Vineyard.

SOIL FERTILITY- The Ability of the Soil to Sustain Agricultural Plant Growth and Provide Plant Habit and Result In Sustained and Consistent Yields of High Quality Yield or Crops.

  • Ability to Supply Essential Plant Nutrients and Water For Plant Growth and Reproduction.
  • Absence of Toxic Substances Which Will Deter Growth.

FERTILITY PROGRAM- Replacing or Regenerating  the Energy and Soil Fertility of the Vineyard  That is Drained Out When You Grow Crops.  You Need to Find a Way to Put/ Give Back to Your Vineyard Without Using Fertilizers.

SOIL AMELIORATION Adding Amendments, Fertilizers, Lime, Gypsum, Organic Matter/ Compost/ Mulches, Cover Crops to Soil to Improve its Physical Properties, Such as Water Retention, Permeability, Drainage, Aeration and Structure. Main Goal is to Provide a Better Environment for Roots/ Hospitable Environment For Soil Fauna.

  • BIOMASS The Total Mass of All Living Organisms.
    • Soils of the Earth Contain 85% of All the Worlds Bio-Mass.
  • COMPOST Decayed Organic Material Used as Enhance Degenerated Soil.
    • Compost Isn’t a Fertilizer, it Can Have Benefits of Fertilizer But is Intended to Fix or Heal the Land, Influence and Build Up Soil, Not Influence the Crop.
    • Producing Compost- Quality Compost is Usually Made by Accumulating Animal Manure, Plant Material (Leaves, Grass Clipping and Vegetable Peels) Pomace and Other Organic Waste. Compost is Piled or Placed In Bins and Letting it Decompose as a Result of the Action of Aerobic Bacteria, Fungi, Microbes, Worms and Other Organisms. After the Compost Has Decomposed to Satisfactory Level, Usually Over a 3- 12 Month Period it’s Ready.
    • Applying Compost Compost is Spread Over the Vineyard/ Garden to Give Back to the Soil In the Form of Organic Nutrient. Compost is Generally Applied in Fall. It’s Spread and Tilled In Then Planted Over with Cover Crops, or Placed Under Vine, Over the Root Zone and Tilled In.
    • Sourcing Compost See Raw Ingredients, Shouldn’t Smell of Manure, Should Smell Like Dirt In a Redwood Forest. Compost is Sold by the Yard or Ton.
  • ANIMALS IN VINEYARDS- The Ability of Having a Diversity of Animals In Your Vineyard In Parimont.  Every Animal Has Their Unique Effect On the Vineyard Through Their Personal  Dropping(Urine & Shit) In the Vineyard Which Leave Nitrogen/ Phorous/ Potassium.  By Having a Variety of Animals Graze Your Vineyard You Can Achieve a Balance to What is Going Into Your Vineyard as Far a Fertility Source and Micro-Nutrients Which You Could Not Get From Composting Alone.
      • When These Animals Are Allowed to Graze the Vineyards They Eat Grass/ Weeds and Shit. Their Small Hooves/ Feet/  Till, Scratch and Push New Organic Matter Into the Soil and Incorporate it.
    • Sheep   |   Pigs
    • Chickens   |   Geese/ Ducks

WEED MANAGEMENT Herbicide or Have Goats/ Sheep Grazing On Weeds.

BURNING VINEYARD CUTTINGS A Common Practice is Burning Vine Cutting Back Into the Vineyard. A Month or So After Pruning When the Cuttings Have Dried Out an Ash Wagon is Pulled Through the Vineyard and the Cuttings are Burned. The Ash is Allowed to Fall Out the Back of the Ash Wagon and the Ashes Incorporate Back Into the Vineyard.

COVER CROPS Planting Vegitation Between Rows of Vines For Benefit of the Vineyard and Vines.

  • There’s Cover Crops Ranging From Slight to Very Competitive For Root Space. Finding the Right Cover Crop For Vineyard is a Process.
    • Erosion- Used as Protection Against Erosion(Holds Soils In Place), Builds Soil Structure.
    • Evaporation- Increases Water Holding Capacity, Can Be Left to Grow In Wet Years and Removed Early In Dry Years.
    • Natural and Organic Way to Fumigate the Vineyard of Pest and Disease Pathogens.
    • Increase Organic Matter- Enhances Biological Diversity In the Root Zone.
    • Control Vigor- Some Soils Produce Too Much Bio-Mass(Waste) and Some Soils Produce Excessive Nitrogen In Soil.

Keep In Mind That You Need to Managing Your Allies.

    • *Generally– Cover Crops Are Planted or Seeded Annually or Semi-Annually  In Spring/ Fall and Allowed to Grow Freely Until They Are Ether Tilled Or Crimped at Full Bloom.
    • Young Vineyards- Its Generally Accepted That You Should Not Have Cover Crops In a Young Vineyard (1- 2 Years Old) Because of Need to Limit Competition For Water and Nutrients.
    • 4 C’s of Cover Crops-
      • Compitition With Vines
      • Contribution of Nutrients
      • Conservation of Water
      • Control of Weeds
  •  COVER CROP MANAGEMENT- Tilling vs. Non-Tilling
    • Some Vineyards Are Tilled Entirely and Some Choose to Till Every Other Row of Cover Crops.  Some Just Till Under the Vines With Tillage Tool.
    • Some Vineyards Aren’t Tilled.  There is Strong Support and Viticultural Philosophy That Having Living Roots In the Soils at All Times Feeds Soil Biology and Helps to Keep the Biology Alive.  80% of Biology In the Soil is In the Top 10 Centimeters Helping to Develop the Humus Layer Which In Turn Feeds the Organic Matter.
  • DIFFERENTIAL COVER CROPS- Have Multiple or a Diversity of Cover Crops Within a Block or Vineyard.
    • Dry Season Cropes- Grass, Rye, Barley, Weeds
    • Legumes- Beans, Chickpea, Lentil       
    • Wild Salad- Marigold, Wild Leeks, Crow Garlic, Asparagus
    • Other- Crimson Clover

UNDER VINE SOIL MANAGEMENT- Growing or Not Grower Weed or Other Planted Life Directly Under the Vineyard Rows.

    • Weed Free
    • No  Competition For Water or Soil Nutrients.
    • Provides Sun Reflection and Radiates Heat.
    • You Can Use Compost and Mulch Under Vines.
    • Improves Soil Conditions and Vineyard Performance.
    • Provide Beneficial Food Source For Soil Organisms, Bacteria, Fungi, Protozoa, Insects and Worms.
    • Plant Roots Provide Pathway For Water to Get to the Vines.

FERTILIZER A Natural or Chemical Substance Added to the Soil or Directly to the Plant to Increase its Fertility or Output.

  • Foliar Feed- Method of Fertilization That Involves Spraying Nutrients Directly Onto the Foliage of the Vines So That the Nutrients are Absorbed by the Leaves Rather Than Through the Root System.
  • Peat- Helps to Aerate and Enrich the Soil.  Peat Also Helps to Retain Valuable Nutrient That Might Leach Out in Sandy Soils.
  • Lime- Used as a Soil Amendment, Included Calcium and Magnesium Which Are Good For the Essential Nutrient For Healthy Plant Growth. Lime Also Alter a Soil PH. and Offsets Soil Acidity.
  • Gypsum-(Calcium Sulfate Dihydrate) Used as a Fertilizer and Soil Amendment In Agricultural For Hundreds of Years.  Gypsum is a Source of Essential Plant Nutrients Such as Calcium and Sulfur and Leads to the Improvement of Overall Plant Growth.
    • Source of Calcium and Sulfur For Plant Nutrition.
    • Improves Acid Soils and Treated Aluminum Toxicity.
    • Improves Soil Structure.
    • Improves Water Infiltration.
    • Compost Spreaders
      • Spreads a Wide Range of Materials Such as: Compost, Fertilizer, Peat, Lime, Gypsum.
    • Provide Nutrients of Plant Growth
    • Increase Soil Organic Matter
    • Mitigate Soil Erosion
    • Alter Soil Structure
    • Spreading Over Vineyard as an Organic Form of Nutrient.
    • While Sheep and Chickens Are Eating Weeds Between Vine Rows They Shit and it Breaks Down and Nourishes the Soils.
    • Cover Crops- Between Vine Rows Regenerate Soil, Balance Soil PH..
    • Soil Mediation Program, Designed to Assess and Build Soil Over 5 Years.
    • Soil Analysis, Every Few Years Holes are Dug in Vineyard to Assess Nutrient Levels, PH. Levels, Root System Development to Determine Deficiencies and Make Needed Amendments.


  • WASTE MANAGEMENT Recycling Oak Barrels/ Cardboard, Composting.
    • 98% of Waste From Sustainable Wineries Is Recyclable.
    • Develop Systems to Compost Wineries Pomace and Lees.
    • Recycling Bottles vs. Reusing Bottles
      • It Takes Four Times Less Energy to Wash and Reuse a Bottle Than it Does to Recycle the Bottle.
  • ASSOCIATIONS~ ~Ecoscience Provence/ La Consifne de Provence
    • Mission~ Organization That Collects Bottles and Removes Their Labels Before Washing and Distributing Them Back to to Participating Wineries.


    • Owl Boxes Attract Predatory Bird to Nest In Vineyard. A Nesting Pair Consumes Up to 2,000 Gophers, Mice Rats and Other Rodents.
    • Blue Birds, Humming Birds All Birds Feed Hatchlings a Diet of Bug Protein.
    • Sustainable Grape Growers Allow Resident or Native Vegetation to Grow Around Winery and Vineyard Property. This Also protects Local Water Bodies by Capturing Run-Off Sediments.

Sustainable Winegrowers Understand the Connection Between Healthy Grapes and a Healthy Ecosystem.


  • Sustainable Vintners and Growers Are Involved In Their Communities and Strive to Enhance There Community Reations.
  • Having Good Standing and High Social Responsibility.


  • HUMAN RESOURCES Development, Training, Vintner to Vintner Education.
    • Conduct Safety Audits and Have Staff Training Meetings.

ENVIRONMENTAL PURCHASES  Electric Tractor/ Hand Tool

    • Certification Based On Accumulation of Point System.
      Levels– Silver, Gold, Platinum
    • Certification For Organizations for Measuring, Reducing and Offsetting Their Carbon Admissions/ Green House Gases. The Certification Verifies the Actions Taken by Companies.
    • Reducing Coal and Gas Power With Wind Energy.
    • Fair Trade Was Created to Establish an Alternative Market That World Operate Differently and Not Incorporate the Practices of Conventional Markets.
    • Collectivity
    • Direct Trade
    • Equity
    • Participatory Democracy
    • Promotion of Equality of Men and Women
    • Respect For Environment
    • Respect For Local Cultures
    • Self Management
    • Solidarity
    • Strong Local Economies
    • Sustainable Prices
    • Transparency
    • Trust



The Beauty of Modern Day Wine Making is There’s a Sincere Effort to Be Responsible and Sustainable.  Grape Grower and Wine Makers are Mostly In Conversation or Doing Experimental Viticultural Procedures to Benefit the Vines, People and the Environment.


  • Poly-Culture-Agriculture- Cultivation of Multiple Crops In Same Space.
    • Everything In Life and the Vineyard/ Farm Needs to Be In Balance and That’s Achieved Through Diversity.
  • Mono-Culture-Agriculture- Cultivation of a Single Crop.
  • Ecosystem Management-
    • More Species the Better    |   Planting Decisions
    • Multiple Insect Habitats   |   Use Sheep to Control Weeds
    • Pest Management- Sustainable Approach to Weeds, Insects, Disease.
  • PERMACULTURE A Way of Looking at or Seeing Agriculture as a Process or a Designed System Based In a Self Sustaining and Self Sufficient. There’s No One Agricultural Permaculture, They All Have Different Context and Different Scenarios.

**Refer to VITICULTURE/ Organic Wine For Additional Information.

**Refer to VITICULTURE/ Bio-Dynamic Wine For Additional Information.


  • Regenerative Agriculture is Conscious Framing Aimed at Creating an Enhanced Biodiversity In its Ecosystem.   It Tries to Reverse the Impacts of Agriculture Through Regenerating  Their Soil Ecosystems, Encouraging Biodiversity and Minimizing Their Carbon Footprint.  This Focuses On What is Going On Below the Soil Rather Than What is Going On On Top of the Soil.
  • The Transitioning to Regenerative Viticulture Takes Time and Changing Practices Can Increase Costs.  It Takes 4-10 Years to Get to the Point W/here the Ecosystem is Stable.
  • ASSOCIATIONS– ~Regenerative Viticulture Foundation
    • Mission~ Connector and Conduit of Learning About Regenerative Farming.

**Refer to BIBLIOGRAPHY/ Sources For Details On Scholarly Works Referenced.