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Three Ways to Celebrate California Wine Month in September

agosto 31, 2022

Enjoy Immersive Harvest Experiences and Festivals, Pair Iconic California Recipes and Fresh Produce with California Wines and Support Local Wineries



SAN FRANCISCO — September is California Wine Month, a time to celebrate the annual harvest season and raise a glass to the state’s vibrant wine community. As California vintners and growers harvest more than 110 different grape varieties for the 2022 vintage, wine lovers around the country can join the month-long festivities. These range from immersive harvest experiences to special wine tastings to wine festivals, along with exciting ways to celebrate California Wine Month at home.

“California is the top U.S. wine producer, driven mostly by multi-generational family businesses,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “California Wine Month celebrates the hard work of hundreds of thousands of employees in our wine community, the tremendous pace of innovation and the exceptional wines coming out of the state.”

California’s wine industry has played a vital role in the state’s culture and economy for more than 250 years. California makes up 81% of wine production in the United States and 95% of exports. Within the state’s 147 distinct winegrowing regions are 621,000 acres of vineyards, 4,800 bonded wineries and nearly 6,000 winegrowers.

“California’s diverse and expansive wine country is one of its top tourism draws,” said Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO. “From high-end pairings and legendary wineries to sustainable vineyards and neighborly barn tastings, there’s an experience — and a wine — for everyone to enjoy.”

California is also a leader in sustainability, with the state’s winegrowers and vintners making significant investments of time and dollars in innovation and new processes to preserve the land and environment for future generations. More than 2,400 vineyards have earned certification under the California Sustainable Winegrowing program, and more than 80% of California wine is produced in a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

Ways to Celebrate California Wine Month

1. Participate in Events and Experiences at California Wineries

More than 24 million people from around the globe visit the state’s winegrowing regions every year, and California Wine Month is one of the most exciting times to do it. And for those in California, wine country is just a short trip away. Join wineries across the state for more than 40 harvest-themed events, activities and experiences — and more will continue to be added throughout September. These include behind-the-scenes vineyard and crush pad tours, grape-stomping competitions, wine and food festivals, hands-on harvest experiences, charity wine auctions and more. For the latest details on offerings, visit the Discover California Wines website.

2. Pair Iconic California Recipes with California Wine

It’s no coincidence that California wine pairs perfectly with the state’s farm-fresh produce and trend-setting cuisine. To help consumers experience this delicious culinary connection at home, Discover California Wines has partnered with California Grown and Visit California to create the free «Iconic California Dishes to Celebrate California Wine Month» e-book, which you can sign up to receive here.  The book features recipes for dishes that evoke the state’s sunny and relaxed vibe — all paired with California wine and creative, wine-based cocktails. Bring harvest home with recipes including Avocado Salad with Hidden Valley Ranch-Style Dressing, Wine Country Chicken Salad and the California 75, a classic wine-based lemon cocktail with a literal and figurative twist.

“We say what grows together goes together,” said Cher Watte Angulo, executive director of California Grown. “Since California provides over 50% of the nation’s produce and over 80% of the wine, it makes sense that people celebrate with both a sip and a bite of the Golden State.”

3. Discover and Enjoy California Wine

Whether visiting wineries in person or online, there’s no better time than California Wine Month to pick up a few bottles of wine to share with friends and family. It’s also easy to find a great selection of California wine at your local grocery store or wine shop.

California Wine Month Partners

Ask about special activities and offers from California Wine Month restaurant, retail, association and organization partners. They include: Albertsons, California Grown, California Restaurant Foundation, The Calistoga Depot, The CIA at Copia, Epic Steak, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, Ironwood Laguna Hills, Oakville Grocery, Olea Newport Beach, Pavillions, Safeway, Sapphire Laguna Beach, Vine Restaurant & Bar San Clemente, Visit California and Vons.


Editors note: DOWNLOAD IMAGES HERE (including content slide for broadcast)

California Wine Fact Sheet HERE

Media Contact
Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute

About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

California Wineries Offer Outdoor Activities for the Body, Mind and Palate

agosto 3, 2022

During National Wellness Month Enjoy Yoga Classes, Hikes and Horseback Riding Among the Vines

photo credit: Castoro Cellars


SAN FRANCISCO — California wineries are famous for offering world-class wine tasting experiences in relaxed, beautiful settings. What some may not realize is that many across the state also host a variety of invigorating outdoor activities that provide a way to experience a vineyard or its surroundings. From yoga classes to vineyard hikes to horseback rides to wellness days, these experiences are designed to please body, mind and palate. It’s all part of the active, balanced lifestyle that California is known for around the world, and since August is National Wellness Month, it’s the perfect time to take advantage.

Following are just some of the activities regularly offered at wineries throughout the state. Discover California Wines, along with the host wineries’ websites, provide details on upcoming dates as well as additional information.



Restora­tive, Yin Yoga Class in the Vineyard – Castoro Cellars, Templeton

One hour restora­tive, yin yoga class lead by Lau­ren Udsen accom­pa­nied with ther­a­peu­tic adjust­ments assist­ed by body work­er, Jen­nifer Lovas as well as Sound Heal­ing bliss from Jaime Dubin of Har­mon­ic Holistics.

Yoga in the Vineyard – Concannon Vineyard, Livermore

Join Concannon Vineyard and The Well Studio for guided flow yoga sessions on the lawn.

Yoga and Wellness Days – Bricoleur Vineyards, Windsor

Yin Yoga sessions are held on Sunday mornings with Vinita Larioa. Guests can also explore practices such as sound healing, drum circle and kirtan on periodic Wellness Days.

Wine + yoga = WOGA! – Boeger Winery, Placerville

Enjoy yoga sessions throughout the year in the winery’s scenic orchard.



Sunset Hiking in the Vineyards – Murrieta’s Well, Livermore

Experience a picturesque hike during golden hour in the rolling hills of the winery’s estate.

Hiking – Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg

Daily vineyard hikes offer an insider’s view of the vineyards.

Horseback Trail Rides – Garrod Farms, Saratoga

The winery stables offer daily, one-hour guided trail rides on horseback.

Hiking and Horseback Riding – Bartholomew Estate, Sonoma

Explore miles of trails within Bartholomew Park daily, weaving through mature oaks, madrones, redwoods and vineyards. The winery also offers horseback trail rides.

Hike Down to the River – Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo

The winery’s hiking trail to the river is open to tasting room guests every day during business hours.

Vineyard Walks – Joseph Phelps Vineyards, St. Helena

On select weekends through October, the winery invites guests to join a one-mile vineyard walk.



Many vendors offer bicycle rentals and scenic cycling tours along the back roads of California wine country.

For bicycle tours in Napa Valley and Sonoma County, check out Ace It Bike Tours, Getaway Adventures, Napa Valley Bike ToursWine Country Bikes and Adventures in CyclingDuVine offers cycling adventures in Napa, Sonoma and the Central Coast. Central Coast Outdoors covers Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, while Santa Barbara Wine Country Cycling pedals its way around Santa Barbara County wine country.


About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.


Media Contact

Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute




California Wine Country and National, State Parks Make Perfect Summer Pairing

mayo 23, 2022

Like the Iconic California Lifestyle, the Ideal Vacation Balances Active Adventures and Relaxing Wine Experiences 


SAN FRANCISCO — As Memorial Day kicks off summer travel season, California wine lovers don’t have to choose between visiting the Golden State’s majestic parks and touring its diverse wine regions. That’s because many of California’s national and state parks are located within or near some of the world’s most famous winegrowing areas. What could be better after a morning hike in the woods than a relaxing afternoon among the vineyards with a delicious glass of California wine?

To help with summer travel planning, Wine Institute has curated pairings of California wine regions with nearby national and state parks. With 143 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) across the state, travelers won’t have to go out of their way to find incredible wine tasting opportunities close to their park-touring adventures. Along with inviting visitors to recharge while sipping the latest vintages, many wineries offer activities like vineyard hikes and cycling. In California wine country, it’s all about a balanced lifestyle.

To find California wineries near a park destination, and get information on summer events at wineries, visit

Travelers can get information about visiting California’s parks, including current COVID-19 guidelines, at the National Park Service and California Department of Parks and Recreation websites. Some of the most popular parks require visitors to book ahead for day passes and/or camping during the busy summer season. Multi-day events such as the inaugural California State Parks Week June 14 to 18 offers a variety of events from which to choose.



Sonoma County & Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve

Ancient Coast Redwoods — the world’s tallest trees — are the main attraction at this 800-acre park and natural preserve. Located just a few miles north of the town of Guerneville, Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve lies within the Russian River Valley AVA in Sonoma County. After hiking and picnicking among the preserve’s towering trees, take time to explore the local wineries. Home to more than 90 producers, the region is famous for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The charmingly rustic town of Guerneville, with its riverfront cabins and lodges, is the perfect place to spend the night and enjoy river activities like canoeing and swimming. On June 25, the Taste of Sonoma is a showcase for Sonoma County wine and food.

Napa Valley/Lake County & Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

This 5,000-acre park offers stunning views of Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties from the summit of Mount St. Helena, California wine country’s highest peak. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park’s location near Calistoga, at the northern end of the Napa Valley, also provides the perfect opportunity to visit the region’s wineries — world-renowned for their impressive and affordable Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The town of Calistoga, with its famous mud baths, boutique hotels and restaurants, is an ideal home base for a visit to the park and local wineries. On July 26, Napa Valley hosts Taste of Napa, a celebration of the region’s wine, food and music. On Sept. 17, travelers can taste and bid on Lake County wines at the Lake County Wine Auction.



Sierra Foothills & Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park in Gold Country presents a host of natural wonders, from groves of giant sequoias to ancient volcanic formations to the Stanislaus River. The park is just north of Arnold, in the scenic Calaveras County wine region — a haven for Spanish, Italian and French varieties. Also within the larger Sierra Foothills AVA are Zinfandel specialists Amador County and El Dorado County, which produce everything from Bordeaux varieties to wines made from Rhône, German, Italian and Spanish grape varieties. Camping is popular at Big Trees, so summer reservations book up quickly. Not to worry, though; the park is less than an hour from the old mining town of Murphys, which features hotels, inns, restaurants and more than 25 winery tasting rooms along Main Street.

Madera Wine Country & Yosemite National Park

Rock-climbing Mecca Yosemite National Park is world renowned for its soaring granite walls and cascading waterfalls. Just south of the park is Madera County, one of California’s oldest appellations. The region is known for its dessert wines and port-style wines, and there is plenty to sample along the Madera Wine Trail. Summer camping reservations at Yosemite are quickly selling out and visitors should also book ahead for day passes, but there are a variety of alternative accommodations in nearby Mariposa, from bed and breakfasts to campgrounds to cabin rentals.



Monterey Wine Country & Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles National Park in Soledad wows thousands of visitors each year with its unique volcanic landscape of monoliths, canyons, oak woodlands and towering rock spires frequented by golden eagles and California condors. Within an hour’s drive is the Cienega Valley Loop in San Benito County, as well as the River Road Wine Trail, which winds its way through the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA in Monterey County, celebrated for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Because summer temperatures at Pinnacles tend to run high — ideal for early morning hikes — the park is most popular during the cooler months. That means reservations for the Pinnacles campground are fairly easy to find for summer visits. There are also lots of lodging and tasting room options in Monterey wine country, in the quaint, storybook town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Ventura/Santa Barbara Wine Country & Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands chain is known as “North America’s Galapagos” due to its natural beauty and wealth of rare plant and animal species. Boats to Channel Islands National Park depart from Ventura and Oxnard. From there, it’s an easy drive to the Ventura County Wine Trail, which features about a dozen wineries in a relaxed, coastal setting. In Santa Barbara wine country, the nearby Sta. Rita Hills AVA is known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Trail excel at Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. If short on time, many of these wineries offer tasting rooms in Santa Barbara’s urban Funk Zone. The National Park Service operates primitive-yet-stunning campgrounds on each of the five Channel Islands, but if that’s too much camping, book a stay in Ventura or Santa Barbara.



San Diego Wine Country & Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is home to the country’s rarest pine tree, the Torrey pine, along with one of the last salt marshes and waterfowl refuges in Southern California. After exploring the reserve’s 1,500 acres of maritime chaparral and miles of beautiful beaches, pay a visit to the wineries of San Diego County. The region boasts more than 100 wineries, best known for Merlot and Chardonnay, and grows 60 different grape varieties. Torrey Pines is located within the San Diego city limits, so lodging, restaurant and other travel amenities abound.







Media Contact

Gino DiCaro, Wine Institute



Celebrate California Wine’s Sustainability Leadership During “Down to Earth” Month in April

marzo 23, 2022

80% of the state’s wine is made in certified sustainable wineries; discover experiences, events and offers from grapes to glass at wineries throughout California

SAN FRANCICSO — April is California wine’s 11th annual  Down to Earth Month, a celebration of the wine community’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the land, regions and wine industry for future generations. State senators Bill Dodd and Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry introduced a state senate concurrent resolution (SCR 88) declaring the designation each April going forward.The California wine industry is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing:

  • 80% of California wine (255 million cases) is made in 178 certified sustainable wineries.
  • 55% of California’s vineyard acreage is certified sustainable.
    • 2,402 Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing vineyards farm 204,857 acres, or 33% of California winegrape acres.
    • Another 22% of California winegrape acres are certified to other sustainability programs — including Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green, and Sustainability in Practice (SIP Certified®) — with some vineyards certifying to more than one program.

While sustainable practices may include elements of organic, Biodynamic© and regenerative farming, sustainability is broad in scope, encompassing energy and water efficiency, employee relations, community engagement and more.

top reasons doc

“As the fourth largest wine-producing region, California has the most comprehensive and widely adopted sustainability programs in the world,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “April is the perfect time to support our member wineries across California, whether by visiting to taste and learn in-person or virtually.”

All month long, wineries and regional associations across California will highlight their sustainable farming, winemaking and business practices through a variety of fun and engaging events and activities, from wine tastings to vineyard hikes to behind-the-scenes sustainability tours. Many California wineries host outdoor activities — including active and wellness-oriented offerings — that encourage visitors to explore their beautiful, sustainably farmed winery estates.

There’s an array of Down to Earth Month winery events and offers to enjoy; see some examples below and the full list at the Discover California Wines’ website.

North Coast  

April 1-30: Celebrate Earth Month Discount

Visitors who bring their used wine corks to the tasting room at BARRA of Mendocino in Redwood Valley will receive a free sunflower seed pack and a 10% discount on regular-priced wines.

Central Coast  

April 1-30: “Get Down to Earth with Us” Tasting

All month long at Austin Hope and Treana Tasting Cellar in Paso Robles, take a deep dive into how the estate’s soils impact what’s in the glass.

Sierra Foothills  

April 22-24: El Dorado Passport to the Great Out There

Your passport provides access to more than 25 participating wineries across El Dorado County, with many producers committed to sustainable growing and winemaking practices.

Southern California 

April 2-30: Ponte Vineyard Estate Tour

Board a 10-passenger electric bus and tour the 310-acre ranch at Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula. See how Ponte grows and makes its certified sustainable wines.

Inland Valleys  

April 2: Lodi Wine Festival

The Lodi Wine Festival features wine tasting from up to 40 wineries, many committed to sustainability and certified through LODI RULES, pouring over 200 varieties.

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact:

Wine Institute Communications Department 

Three Ways to Celebrate the Holidays California Wine Country Style

noviembre 15, 2021

New Online Guide Inspires the Holiday Spirit with Festive Wine Country Events, Gift Offers and Recipes

SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing pairs better with the holidays than celebrating them California wine country style. Whether your plans include a trip to your favorite wine region or bringing the Golden State’s wine country cheer into your home, there are many ways to connect over wine and get in the holiday spirit.

California Wines’ new online guide, Celebrate the Holidays California Wine Country Style, shares three inspiring ways to help you embrace the spirit of the season, from wine events and special gift offers to festive recipes for seasonal dishes paired with California wine and wine cocktails.

Visit California Wine Country for Holiday Events
There’s always something special about visiting the place where your favorite California wines are grown and made, and the experience kicks up a notch when wineries are decked out in holiday splendor. From the North Coast down to Southern California, the Golden State’s easily accessible wineries are hosting special events, such as tree lighting ceremonies, wine festivals and elevated tastings and pairings, along with opportunities to stock up for holiday parties. To top off your holiday visit, be sure to experience all that California wine country’s acclaimed local restaurants have to offer.

Shop Local Winery Gifts and Special Offers 
Supply chain challenges make shopping local even more appealing this holiday season. Instead of giving a gift card, visit a favorite California winery where onsite shopping can yield fun and creative gifts including a curated and personalized holiday wine bundle, crafts from local artisans at holiday events and unique pairing sets like estate wines with fudge made by Trappist monks. You can also take advantage of special holiday offers, such as free shipping or discounted gift packs, offered by many California wineries.

Bring California Wine Country Home with Festive Recipes for Different Holiday Gatherings 
If you’re looking for creative ways to gather this holiday season with Golden State wine and fresh California grown ingredients, look no further. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve or Epiphany, every holiday deserves a festive and tasty dinner. Those hosting holiday gatherings will love the delicious, easy wine country seasonal recipes with suggested pairings that are sure to be a hit, such as Roasted Turkey with Wild Rice and Kale Stuffing, paired with a California Chardonnay or Zinfandel. A vegetarian side is Focaccia Bread Pudding with Wild Mushrooms and Goat Cheese, paired with a California Pinot or Chardonnay.

If you’re looking to elevate your game day, but you’re not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, try something different than burgers and nachos and assemble foolproof appetizers such as deviled eggs, which are always a holiday favorite and pairs brilliantly with a California rosé or sparkling wine. Or try another easy, satisfying dish, such as Fresh Mozzarella with Honey Bacon Vinaigrette on mixed greens with hazelnuts, which goes well with a California Pinot Noir or white blend.

Craft cocktails are a big trend for holiday gatherings and beyond, and both still and sparkling wines can be a part of that experience. Not only does wine provide a lighter alternative to spirits, but it also pairs exceptionally well with a variety of cocktail components. California wines are also particularly fitting for the state’s bounty of local, sustainably grown produce and fresh herbs. Check out our free California Wine Cocktails for the Holidays e-book, featuring recipes for deliciously creative seasonal drinks such as the California Gold Rush — a blend of California Chardonnay, fresh lemon juice and lemon-thyme honey — and the Cranberry Rosé, made with California dry rosé wine, cranberry juice and orange bitters.

Looking for More Ideas? 
For more ideas on holiday events, gifts, special offers and recipes, visit the free online guide at California Wines.

For additional holiday dishes to pair with California wines and wine-based cocktails, pick up a copy of Wine Country Table book featuring recipes inspired by the state’s sustainably grown food and wines. The book is available at many bookstores and through Amazon.

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact:

Wine Institute Communications Department 

Vintners Across the State Report Outstanding Quality for 2021 California Harvest

noviembre 10, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — Winemakers across California predict that the 2021 vintage will be one of the best in recent memory, while the Golden State’s winegrowers enjoyed a smooth harvest following a moderate and consistent growing season.   

Picking began early in many regions, including the North Coast — ranging from a week to several weeks ahead of average. Central Coast appellations experienced a cool year that prompted a later-than-average start.  

Grapes for sparkling wines are typically the first to be picked in California, but this year, some varieties for still white wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, were the first to ripen. In addition, varieties that do not normally reach maturity at the same time ripened simultaneously, resulting in vineyard crews in some regions picking multiple varieties at once.   

The ongoing drought presented challenges for winegrowers, resulting in reduced yields, but vintners are reporting outstanding quality and great concentration in the fruit.   

California produces about 80% of the nation’s wine, making it the world’s fourth-largest wine producing region. More than 80% of California wine is made in a Certified Sustainable California Winery and over half of the state’s 637,000 vineyard acres are certified to one of California’s sustainability programs (Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green and SIP-Certified). Along with preserving the land for future generations, many of the sustainable practices used by the state’s vintners help make the harvest and growing season run more smoothly and increase wine quality.  

Winemaker Comments on California’s Growing Season and Harvest  

“The weather was excellent this year, with mild temperatures at the end of the growing season,” said Ted Henry, director of winegrowing at Groth Vineyards in Oakville in Napa Valley. “We got a little more time to mature flavors before pulling the fruit off the vine.” Yields were on the lighter side due to smaller clusters and berries, but otherwise, the vintage was free from significant issues. “I think 2021 will be a top vintage in the Napa Valley,” Henry said. “Reds are very dark and extracted, with nice balance and freshness. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon stood out as exceptional, and whites were bright, fresh and full flavored.”  

Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg in Sonoma County began picking about a week earlier than normal, on Aug. 8. The season progressed without heat spikes or cold snaps. “What was crazy was the condensed ripening of all of the different varieties at once,” said Justin Seidenfeld, director of winemaking. “I had one day where I picked Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot, Grenache Blanc and Zinfandel. That’s not a normal kind of day for us.” Yields were down about 14% overall, while Chardonnay and Pinot Noir came in around average. “The quality and the color of the wine, and the tannin development are some of the best I’ve ever seen,” Seidenfeld said. “Our Bordeaux reds are amazing. It’s going to be an off-the-charts vintage for sure.”  

Corey Beck, executive vice president of production and chief winemaker at Delicato Family Wines, also noted a decrease in yields. “We had to deal with drought conditions across Napa and Sonoma County, leading to lower cluster weights,” he said. “The good news is that we see a fantastic concentration of flavors and color in our reds. Our Lodi and Central Coast vineyards share a similar story as a result of the moderate summer and drought conditions — resulting in lighter grape structure.” Beck is particularly excited about Chardonnay, which is showing vibrant flavors, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon. “Wines in the fermenters at all sites have very nice, mature flavors and good concentration,” he said. “Acids are a bit higher than typical, so the wines are very bright. The concentration and cleanness of the fruit are two pillars that make 2021 such a stand-alone harvest.”  

In Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards began picking earlier than normal, around the second week of August. Harvest in the winery’s Monterey County vineyards began about two weeks earlier than average due to cold temperatures throughout the season, while grapes from the winery’s Arroyo Seco vineyards weren’t ready until the last week of September. Growing conditions in Livermore Valley were ideal, with few heat spikes noted viticulture manager Niki Wente. Strong winds during flowering caused some shatter in the reds, but whites were not affected. Though yields were down about 15% for red varieties, quality increased as a result.  “There’s a lot of flavor concentration and really small berries,” Wente said, particularly for Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux varieties. This will also be a solid vintage for whites. “They’re going to be really beautiful and floral.”  

J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines saw a good amount of pre-season rainfall for its Paso Robles vineyards this year. However, most of the precipitation arrived during a single storm event, causing runoff that prevented much of the water from penetrating the soil. “No matter how you irrigate, the vines love rainwater more than anything,” said director of winemaking Steve Peck. “Canopies and vines were a little bit smaller this year because of that lower rainfall total.”  

Even so, he added, yields came in around average, with fruit showing more structure and higher tannin levels than typical. “For people that really like that intense mouthfeel,” he said, “I think they’re going to be very pleased with 2021.”  

Hopland-based Fetzer Vineyards, which grows grapes all over California, began picking several weeks ahead of historical averages. Minimal rainfall and a warm summer led to lower fruit volumes and smaller berries. John Kane, Fetzer’s vice president of winemaking and winery operations, notes that impacts on the 2021 vintage began with unusually cold and dry post-harvest weather in 2020, putting the vines into protective mode. “As soon as the weather warmed in March, the vines did not hesitate to set buds,” he said, “but not as many as they would after a winter with normal rainfall. Early bud break was followed by a spring and early summer of high heat, which added more stress for the vines.”  

Low water availability coupled with a warm growing season meant growers had to be precise with irrigation and canopy management. Smaller berries and lower yields brought intense concentration to the wines, with notable vibrancy. “Monterey Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and bright,” Kane said, “and Cabernet Sauvignon from all over the state has great variety typicity without green characteristics.” Marty Spate, vice president of winemaking and winegrowing at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers in Parlier, Fresno County, said the season progressed without extreme heat events or impacts from wildfire smoke. Not only that, but fruit quality is excellent across the board, and especially for Petite Sirah. “We source grapes from up and down the state, and the most consistent item of note this year is how good the fruit looked and tasted,” he said. “We are seeing intense levels of fruit characteristics, fine quality of tannins and well-balanced chemistries and acidity. I can say with confidence that our 2021 vintage is shaping up to be one of the best in the past decade.”  

In Santa Barbara, winegrowers experienced a moderate growing season, with harvest timing in line with, or a bit behind, the historical average. “Weather during the ripening period was about as ideal as you could ask for in Santa Barbara County,” said Tyler Thomas, winemaker at Dierberg Vineyard in Lompoc. “We had cool mornings and ample fog, with little-to-no heat events.” Other than some canopy variability early in the season, the vintage proceeded as normal and yields came in at or just below historical averages. Wines are showing great depth of flavor at lower potential alcohol levels and higher acidity. “We are very excited about the ability to promote energy in wines with terrific depth and generosity,” says Thomas. “The Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir wines especially seem to display this quality.”  

View the full 2021 California Harvest Report, including regional reports from Amador County, El Dorado County, Lake County, Livermore Valley, Lodi, Mendocino County, Monterey County, Napa Valley, Paso Robles, San Diego County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County and Temecula Valley.  

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with Visit California to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination.

Media Contact: 

Call for Applications for the EIGHTH Annual California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

noviembre 9, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO— California vineyards and wineries are encouraged to apply for the 2022 California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards, with applications now being accepted     

Vineyards and wineries that participate in a sustainability program in California are eligible to apply in four award categories, recognizing outstanding achievement in sustainability:   

  • Leader Award, given to the vineyard or winery that demonstrates success and innovation in all of the below three areas of sustainable winegrowing and also inspires others.   
  • Environment Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstratesEnvironmental Stewardshipthrough maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.   
  • Community Award, given to the vineyard or winery that is aGood Neighbor andEmployerusing the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.   
  • Business Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstratesSmart Businessthrough efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.  

“The California Green Medal awards provide an annual opportunity to showcase vintners and winegrape growers who are deeply committed to environmentally and socially responsible practices,”said Allison Jordan, Executive Director. “We are excited to review the 2022 entries, which always provide practical and real-life examples of the California wine community’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing.”    

The 2021 California Green Medal recipients included:    

  • O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Leader Award  
  • Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Environment Award 
  • Boisset Collection, Community Award  
  • Trinchero Family Estates, Business Award   

Applications are being accepted now through Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2022.


About the 2022 California Green Medal Awards  

Winners will receive a Green Medal and be recognized in widely distributed communications, as well as an awards ceremony in spring 2022.   

The eighth annual California Green Medal Awards are being judged by a panel of wine and sustainability experts including Karen Block, UC Davis Viticulture and Enology; Stephanie Bolton, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Anna Brittain, Napa Green; Lisa Francioni-Hai, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Natalie Wymer, Wine Institute; Sandra Taylor, Sustainable Business International LLC;Frances Knapczyk, Napa Resource Conservation District; Cyril Penn, Wine Business Monthly; Katie Piontek, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission; Phil Market, Vons, Albertsons, Pavilions; and Beth Vukmanic, Vineyard Team.   

The California Green Medal is presented by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and The Vineyard Team. 

Sponsors include:  

  • Exclusive Media Sponsor:Wine Business Monthly 
  • Gold Sponsor: Farm Credit Alliance  

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact  

View a video highlighting the sustainability accomplishments of 2021 award recipients.  

Wine Institute   

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance  

California’s Wine Community Recognizes October’s Farmer and Farmworker Month

octubre 6, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO – California is the country’s top agricultural producer and in October the state’s wine and winegrape growing community honors the farmers and farmworkers who nurture and harvest more than 400 crops – ranging from fruits, vegetables and nuts to more than 100 winegrape varieties.  

“California Farmer and Farmworker Month is an important opportunity to recognize all those who work incredibly hard to bring the Golden State’s world class wine and agricultural products into the homes and communities across the state, the nation and the world,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute.  

California’s wine and winegrape industries are critical economic drivers for many communities and regions throughout our state, employing 325,000 Californians, paying $17.2 billion in wages annually and generating more than $57 billion in annual economic activity for the state of California.    

The diversity of California’s vast growing regions, skill and experience of its growers and their commitment to sustainable winegrowing will ensure that California wine will continue to be a signature agricultural industry for the state into the future.   

“California’s winegrape growers are proud to be an integral part of California’s farmer and farmworker community, dedicated to producing and harvesting quality goods through sound environmental practices and social responsibility,” said John Aguirre, president, California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).   

California’s winegrowers have a long history of embracing sustainable winegrowing practices through various programs such as the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) and other regional educational and certification programs, with more than 2,200 vineyards in California that are CCSW.   

California’s Wine and Winegrape Growing Community   

As the nation’s top wine producer, California makes up more than 80% of U.S. wine production and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world. California is home to 620,000 acres of winegrapes, grown by more than 5,900 winegrape growers, with winegrapes grown in 49 of the state’s 58 counties.  

Celebrate California Farmer and Farmworker Month and support California’s agricultural community by enjoying California-grown and produced wine, which pairs well with other California-grown crops. To learn about recipe ideas and California wine pairings, visit     

About Wine Institute  
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. 

About the California Association of Winegrape Growers
CAWG provides industry leadership to advocate for public policies, research and education programs, and sustainable farming practices to enhance the business of growing California winegrapes. Learn more at  

About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.  

Wine Institute   

California Association of Winegrape Growers

California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance  

New Capstone California Global Education Program Focuses Exclusively on California Wine

septiembre 22, 2021

Wine Institute’s Comprehensive California Wine Certification Program Developed by Industry Experts  

SAN FRANCISCO – The first-of-its kind California wine certification and education program, Capstone California, has launched onto the global wine stage during California Wine Month. Created by Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program with a team of international wine professionals, Capstone California focuses exclusively on California wine through original content presented in a multi-lingual, multimedia platform available globally to industry professionals and enthusiasts alike. 

Capstone California is part of a 10-year, multi-pronged strategy aimed at expanding California wine across international markets. Furthering the knowledge of California wines through a structured learning experience, Capstone California embraces a global audience. Focusing on four levels of study from novice to expert through a comprehensive curriculum, Capstone California offers authoritative information, interactive and aerial maps of the state’s American Viticulture Areas and other resources for wine study all readily accessible at 

Find California Wine Education Resources Including Aerial AVA and Variety Maps (click image)

California wine makes up 95% of U.S. wine exports and more than 80% of the U.S. wine market, which has generated a significant need to provide a deeper understanding of our wine regions to the world and here at home,” said Robert P. Koch, president and CEO, Wine Institute. “With tremendous detail and collaboration by influential global wine leaders to develop this innovative and rigorous certification program, Capstone California highlights the extensive history, diversity and intricacies that make up the compelling and sought-after characteristics of California wine.” 

Each Capstone California course builds on the prior level, covering history, geography, climate, soils, grapes, viticulture, vinification, aging and maturation, wine laws, official classifications, producers, vintages and the business of wine.  

Explore California Wine Regions (click image)

“Establishing a comprehensive resource for the international wine community, specific to California wine, Capstone California covers everything necessary to become more versed in the unique and accessible options that California offers wine lovers around the world,” said Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier. “As California wine continues to evolve and experience significant global growth, this comprehensive program provides a depth of knowledge to wine professionals that is greatly needed.” 

“Knowing a bit more makes wine so much more enjoyable. Capstone California provides an ideal way of intensifying your enjoyment of California wine,” said Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine. 

The program’s extensive archives were curated by Master Sommeliers Evan Goldstein, Tim Gaiser and Wayne Belding, alongside industry leaders Deborah Parker Wong, Randy Caparoso, Sara Schneider, Sara d’Amato, Virginie Boone, Fred Swan and Master of Wine Sandy Block. Many California wineries, along with a team of California wine experts, Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, educators and authors and international wine leaders also contributed to Capstone California. 

Capstone California has already been previewed in Canada and Europe and will be introduced in Japan, Mexico and the U.K./Ireland in the fall of 2021, followed by China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and United Arab Emirates throughout 2022.  

Capstone California will continue to evolve in coming months, expanding on the compelling features and resources available to participants globally, with an emphasis on building a lifelong approach to mentoring across the international wine community.  

About the Capstone California Program 
Developed by California Wines under the auspices of Wine Institute, Capstone California is an up-to-date information resource on California wine, developed by an outside team of top industry professionals, educators and authors. Additionally, many of the state’s wineries contributed to the first-of-its kind content. Capstone California offers four levels of study: Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert/Ambassador. Upon completion of each level, successful students receive a certificate and other benefits. For more information, visit 

About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program 
Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program is a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It supports more than 185 California wineries exporting to 142 countries and highlights California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beautiful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. Representatives help develop export markets, covering 27 countries and provide support to California wineries. California is the fourth-largest wine producing region in the world and produces more than 80% of total U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. Established in 1934, Wine Institute is a public policy advocacy group representing more than 1,000 California winery and affiliated business members.  

For additional information on the export program, visit and to learn more about California wine, visit Wine Institute’s consumer website, 


Multi-State Partnership Advances Sustainability in the U.S. Wine Industry

septiembre 14, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO — The largest winegrowing states in the country — California, Oregon, New York and Washington, which produce 95% of U.S. wine — have established educational and certification sustainability programs over the past two decades, furthering the widespread adoption of sustainable practices by U.S. winegrowers and winemakers.

Since 2018, wine organizations from the four states have been partnering to advance sustainability initiatives industry wide. By providing a definition and principles for the U.S. wine industry, conducting trade and consumer research, sharing information through two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits and providing education on grower and vintners’ sustainability commitment to trade and consumers, the project has been effective in furthering the understanding of sustainable winegrowing.

As the initial phase of the multi-year project concludes, the partners are sharing results and resources and look forward to future collaboration.

Common Definition and Principles 

As a first step in the partnership, the organizations and sustainability programs created and agreed to a common definition for sustainable winegrowing and winemaking:

Sustainable winegrowing and winemaking is a holistic approach that conserves natural resources, protects the environment, enhances wine quality, enriches the lives of employees and communities and safeguards family farms and businesses — today and for generations to come. 

«A frequent criticism we hear about sustainability is that sustainability isn’t defined, which simply isn’t true. This definition shows that we’re all on the same page about the general meaning of sustainability, recognizing that it may differ based on local conditions and other factors,” said Allison Jordan, Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.

These groups also agreed to the following sustainable winegrowing and winemaking principles:

  • Holistic Approach: Acknowledges connection between vineyards, wineries, surrounding ecosystems and communities.
  • Triple Bottom Line: Satisfies the triple bottom line of environmental stewardship, social equity and economic viability.
  • Continuous Improvement: Involves a process of ongoing evaluation, improvement and re-evaluation, with best practices evolving with updated research, new technologies and adoption of improved practices.
  • Comprehensive, Science-Based Practices: Uses a broad set of measurable science-based practices that vary based on local conditions as well as vineyard and/or winery scale and objectives.The partnership created several new resources to share the definition, principles and programs with trade, media and consumers, including a new website — — and brochure. 

Trade and Consumer Research 

The partner organizations worked with Lulie Halstead, CEO of Wine Intelligence, and Christian Miller, proprietor of Full Glass Research, to conduct consumer and trade research in 2019 and 2020.

Wine Intelligence research on consumer perceptions of sustainable winegrowing (particularly by Millennials and Gen Z) indicated a high interest in purchasing sustainably produced wine in the future, a favorable perception of sustainable certification programs and certification logos and a willingness to pay more for wine that has been sustainably produced. Full Glass Research found that large majorities of trade respondents felt familiar with key concepts of sustainable wine production; recommend sustainably produced, organic and biodynamic wines to their customers; and support clear and reliable certifications that can be communicated to the trade and consumers.

Findings were shared at two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits (see below), as well as a June 2020 webinar.

Education and Information-Sharing through U.S. Sustainability Summits 

In 2019 and 2021, the partners hosted two U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summits to exchange ideas and best practices and to engage the broader wine industry in advancing sustainability across the country.

Over 565 attendees attended, including winegrowing associations, vineyard and winery leaders, as well as other key stakeholders from across the U.S. and 20 countries.

The inaugural Summit was held in Sonoma and featured panels exploring “the value of sustainability” from the perspective of vineyards and wineries, other industries and trade, as well as lessons learned from various U.S. state sustainability programs. Keynote speakers were California Department of Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and Lulie Halstead of Wine Intelligence. (See 2019 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit Highlights.)

During the second U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit, attendees heard from sustainable winegrowers in the field and learned how they are adapting practices in the face of climate change. They also gained insight into expanding this movement to their own wine regions, vineyards and/or wineries, and how to communicate practices in ways that resonate with consumers and trade. In addition to a host of winegrowers from all four states, notable speakers included keynote speaker Ray Isle of Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure, Esther Mobley of the San Francisco Chronicle, Elaine Chukan Brown of and Diversity in Wine Leadership Forum, and Mark Barden of eatbigfish. (See 2021 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit Highlights and recordings of sessions.)

Sustainable Winegrowing Promotion and Communication 

Another key aspect of the partnership has been promoting sustainability in ways that resonate with consumers and trade while credibly communicating the U.S. wine industry’s commitment to a global audience. Beyond the website and brochure referenced above, the organizations held a tasting for trade and media as part of the 2021 U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit, moderated by Evan Goldstein, MS, of Master the World, and featuring wines and vintners from all four states.

The partnering organizations also created new promotional materials and activities for their own states. For instance, as part of the project, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance launched a new website,, that includes a searchable database of Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing wineries, wines and vineyards. New York and Washington began developing statewide certification programs, building on their experience with educational sustainability programs and a regional certification program (Long Island in NY). In addition, Oregon Wine Board and LIVE created new promotional materials and a trade-focused training series and podcast about sustainable winegrowing.

These efforts support the education of trade and consumers to better understand sustainable winegrowing. Trade and consumers can now find sustainably produced wines by looking for certification logos and text on wine labels, reviewing lists on certification program websites, looking for information on winery websites and asking questions when visiting wineries or meeting with winemakers. By supporting these wineries and wine industry sustainability programs, efforts are furthered to protect the environment, nurture safe and healthy workplaces and sustain family farms.

As the initial phase of the multi-year project concludes, the partners are sharing results and resources and look forward to future collaboration. Partner organizations include the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, LIVE, Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Oregon Wine Board, New York Wines, Washington State Wine Commission and Washington Winegrowers.

About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance 
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.

Experience the Excitement of the Annual Harvest Season During California Wine Month

agosto 25, 2021

Consumers Can Enjoy Activities Throughout September That Celebrate the Golden State as the Top U.S. Wine Producer

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release

SAN FRANCICSO — With the 2021 winegrape harvest now underway, September offers a time to enjoy all that California wine has to offer. Whether you live in the state, or simply want to embrace a Golden State of Mind, there are many ways to participate in California Wine Month.

Consumers can take part in about 60 events and activities across the state, both in-person and virtually. These include special tastings, farm-to-table harvest dinners, musical performances in the vineyards, wine and food festivals, immersive harvest experiences, grape stomps, tours, discount offers and more.

Find Upcoming Live and Virtual Events (click image)

Those wanting to bring the California harvest experience into their homes can do so through virtual events and by trying wine pairings at home. For inspiration, download the free Happy Hour at Home e-book of simple recipes for snacks and small bites that complement California wines.

Download Recipes for California Wine Pairings (click image)

The Golden State’s Wine Community  

For more than 250 years, the California wine community has been a rich part of the state’s culture and economy. California is home to nearly 6,000 winegrowers, 620,000 acres of vineyards and 4,200 bonded wineries. The state grows more than 100 different grape varieties.

Making up more than 80% of wine production in the U.S. and 95% of U.S. wine exports, California offers high-quality and accessible wines around the world. 

Most of the winegrowers and vintners are multi-generational family businesses and pride themselves on being stewards of the land. Nearly 2,250 vineyards have achieved certification under the rigorous California Sustainable Winegrowing program, and more than 80% of California wine is produced in a Certified California Sustainable Winery.

Learn More About California Wine (click image)

The state’s wines also play an important role in California’s iconic lifestyle, inspired by endless miles of natural beauty and boundless optimism. Pairing perfectly with the Golden State’s bounty of fresh produce and inventive cuisine, as well as with food from around the world, California wines are made for unwinding and connecting with family and friends over conversations, shared meals and celebrations.

Winegrowing areas of the state typically draw more than 24 million visitors each year from around the world.

Join Others in Celebrating California Wine Month

To help consumers learn more about California’s wine community, California Wine’s social channels will feature special guests and information on the state’s diverse winegrowing regions. As an added bonus, social followers will have an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the premiere FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Discover California Wines is Wine Institute’s consumer website.

Consumers also can enjoy special activities and offers from California Wine Month restaurant, retail, association and organization partners. For further details, ask these establishments how they are celebrating California Wine Month. Partners include: Albertsons, Archer Hotel Napa, California Cantaloupe, California Figs, California Grown, California Restaurant Foundation, California Table Grapes, CellarPass, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa, The CIA at Copia, Compline, Epic Steak, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, Four Seasons Chicago/Adorn Restaurant, Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, GuildSomm, Ironwood Laguna Hills, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Mission Bay Wine & Cheese, Montage Healdsburg, Oakville Grocery, Olea Newport Beach, One Market, Pavilions, Raley’s/BelAir/Nob Hill, Real California Milk, Restaurants Care, Ruth’s Chris Steak House Wilkes-Barre, Safeway, San Francisco Wine School, Sapphire Laguna Hills, Scout & Cellar, Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar, SommSelect, Vine Restaurant & Bar San Clemente, Vino Bistro Sarasota, Visit California, Visit Napa Valley, Vons, West Coast Wine.Cheese, Women for WineSense and Women of the Vine & Spirits.

Download images that represent California Wine Month here. 

About Wine Institute  

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state. To learn more about California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines

Sustainability Report Shows Growing Adoption of Sustainable Practices by California Vineyards & Wineries

julio 21, 2021

New Report Issued by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO — The 2020 California Wine Community Sustainability Report released today by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) shows broad participation in its educational and certification programs, and wide implementation of sustainable practices in vineyards and wineries around the state.   

“California is the world’s fourth largest wine producer, amplifying the importance and impact of the industry’s high level of adoption of sustainable practices, as demonstrated by data included in the report,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “These practices improve resource efficiency and wine quality, reduce risks and, in many cases, reduce costs, while contributing to a healthier environment, stronger communities and vibrant businesses.”   

In addition to providing programmatic updates, the 2020 report provides aggregated data on 144 vineyard and 105 winery best practices that are included in the comprehensive California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing (Code). First published in 2002 and now in its 4th edition, the Code is a tool for Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) participants to measure their level of sustainability and to learn about ways they can improve their practices. Since 2010, the Code is also central to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, CSWA’s third-party certification program. 


  • Improvements in 76% of vineyard criteria and 85% of winery criteria in the Code from the period of 2016-2020 as compared to the 2015 Report; 
  • A 35% increase in the number of vineyards (45% increase in acres) and a 60% increase in the number of wineries (58% increase in wine cases produced) that have used the Code to assess their sustainability since 2016; 
  • 2,247 vineyards that farm 32% of California acreage and 171 wineries that produce 80% of California wine achieved certification to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing – a 419% increase in the number of vineyards and an 88% increase in the number of wineries certified since the last report; 
  • Over 660 workshops hosted for more than 16,800 participants since the Sustainable Winegrowing Program’s inception in 2002, including the first U.S. Sustainable Winegrowing Summit.


The 2020 report shows that 2,300 vineyards representing 262,000 winegrape acres used the 3rd edition Code to evaluate and improve their practices since 2016. The data show that a majority have adopted sustainable practices for water and energy efficiency, pest management and soil health, among other areas, as detailed below: 

  • Water Efficiency: 82% of growers used micro-irrigation systems to target irrigation, optimize water use and conservation. 
  • Energy Efficiency: 90% of growers reduced energy use through water pump improvements, the largest energy saving opportunity in the vineyard. 
  • Pest Management: 83% of growers used cultural practices to naturally manage pests, reducing need for pesticides. 
  • Soil Health: 99% of growers used resident vegetation, cover crops and/or compost.


The 2020 report shows that 230 wineries that produce 262 million cases used the 3rd edition Code to evaluate and improve their practices since 2016.  A majority are adopting sustainability practices for energy, water and their overall business, among other areas.  

  • Energy Efficiency: 86% of vintners conducted an energy audit of their winery within the last five years to save energy and costs. 
  • Water Efficiency: 90% of vintners measured and monitored water use to manage it responsibly. 
  • Sustainable Business Strategy: 91% of vintners integrated sustainability into their business strategy.  


The livelihood of California vintners and growers depends upon the health of the environment and local communities. The 2020 report shows that a vast majority of the state’s vintners and growers are taking action to protect wildlife, positively contributing to their communities and encouraging employees to become engaged in enhancing sustainability.  

  • Employees: 89% of vintners encouraged employees to provide suggestions for improving operational efficiency to enhance sustainability. 
  • Neighbors: 99% of growers provided neighbors with contact information and responded to community concerns. 
  • Wildlife: 91% of growers allowed growth of resident or native vegetation to protect local water bodies and positively impact surrounding community. 
  • Contribution: 94% of vintners volunteered or provided other contributions to enhance their local community.

In addition to the examples listed above, the 2020 report includes data on levels of adoption for all 200 Code Practices. View the 2020 California Wine Community Sustainability Report here.  

 About the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers. CSWA’s mission is to encourage adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices and communicate the California wine industry’s global leadership through education, outreach, certification and partnerships.  

Wine Institute Communications Department

Where to Find California Wineries with Fun for All   

julio 14, 2021

Margarita Adventures at Ancient Peaks Winery.

SAN FRANCICSO — Many moms and dads visit California wine country for much-needed “grown-up” time in one of the world’s most beautiful wine regions, but many don’t realize that dozens of the state’s wineries offer special activities and accommodations for kids. While adults sample the latest vintages, children can have their own fun tasting grape juice, romping in play areas, visiting with farm animals and playing outdoor games.

Before embarking on a fun family outing in California’s wine country, Wine Institute recommends that parents call ahead or check the winery website to make sure minors are welcome. Some don’t allow guests under age 21 due to liability concerns or preference. Once kids get the green light, they’ll be able to join you at the winery, and can often participate in vineyard and winery tours.

ACORN Winery/ Alegría Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County   
Legos, crayons and cornhole keep kids entertained while parents taste. Children may also explore the vineyards adjacent to the tasting room, join parents on a guided vineyard walk and taste grapes during harvest.

Alexander Valley Vineyards, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 
Kids can join in winery and cave tours with their parents, visit the vineyards, enjoy the picnic area and meet the winery dogs. While the adults taste wine, children can do a winery seek-and-find puzzle.

Alpha Omega, St. Helena, Napa County 
The winery presents kids with crayons and the coloring book Exploring the Napa Valley with Traveler Teddies, a kid-friendly guide to the Napa Valley.

Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, San Luis Obispo County 
Zipline above the vines at the winery’s Santa Margarita Ranch (kids weighing 30-100 pounds can fly tandem with an adult). After zooming through the adventure course, families can have lunch (with wine for the adults) at the Ancient Peaks café.

Bella Vineyards & Wine Caves, Healdsburg, Sonoma County 
Book the Vineyard Tour and ride a vintage Pinzgauer truck to the top of Lily Hill, where parents sample wine and kids can watch hawks soar overhead. Families may also picnic on the lawn and tour the wine caves.

Brassfield Estate Winery, Clearlake Oaks, Lake County 
The winery invites families to play bocce ball and cornhole, and relax in Brassfield’s picnic area.

Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma, Sonoma County 
Tours led by period actors include wine caves and the Historic Wine Museum, which features an entertaining multimedia show. There’s also a picnic area and hedge maze.

Pruning at Captain Vineyards.   

Captain Vineyards, Moraga, Contra Costa County 
Families can book a farm stay, have a picnic or tour the vineyard and winery. During harvest, kids are invited to help crush grapes.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, Napa County 
Tour a massive replica of an Italian castle, complete with a dungeon, then meet the estate peacocks and farm animals. Kids can sample grape juice and enjoy their own play area.

Chasewater Winery & Olive MillKelseyville, Lake County 
At this pup-friendly winery, families can spend the day playing bocce ball, enjoying the picnic tables and lawn and sampling the estate’s olive oil.

Cline Cellars, Sonoma, Sonoma County 
The park-like, historic grounds feature expansive lawns, ponds stocked with carp and turtles, vintage train cars and the winery’s Sicilian donkeys, Fancy and Pudding.

DeLoach Vineyards, Santa Rosa, Sonoma County 
The winery features educational, family-friendly tours highlighting DeLoach’s history, winemaking techniques and farming practices. Families can also picnic in the winery grove.

Domaine Artefact, Escondido, San Diego County 
Pack a picnic and play cornhole and giant Jenga, or visit with the ranch dogs and farm animals.

Fenton Herriott Vineyards, Placerville, El Dorado County  
Enjoy the picnic area and play bocce ball on one of two full-sized courts.

Families can swim at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville, Sonoma County 
Coppola welcomes families with two large swimming pools, a bocce ball court, a children’s library, a gallery filled with memorabilia from Coppola’s films, board games and more.
(Note: This season, pool access is only available through cabine reservations, which are currently sold out through October 2021. However, cancelations do occur, so check the website for availability.)

Frog’s Leap, Rutherford, Napa County 
Dogs and kids are welcome at Frog’s Leap, which includes a barn, farm animals, and fruit and vegetable gardens. The winery also occasionally hosts specific family-friendly tasting times.

Fults Family Vineyards, Lower Lake, Lake County 
Families at this kid- and dog-friendly winery are invited to enjoy the golf range and picnic tables.

Furthermore Wines, Sebastopol, Sonoma County 
Parents can bring their kids and dogs along for a day of bocce ball and picnicking.

Grey Wolf Vineyards & Cellars, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County 
While parents enjoy a glass or bottle outside overlooking the vineyards, children can play giant Connect Four, giant Jenga and cornhole. Barton’s Kitchen Window serves lunch with many family-friendly options.

Heritage Oak Winery, Acampo, Lodi/San Joaquin County 
Outdoor family fun includes picnicking, hiking down to the river, kayaking and occasional guided bird walks.

Holly’s Hill Vineyard, Pleasant Valley, El Dorado County 
The winery offers an outdoor toy box for kids and family-friendly camping through Harvest Hosts.

Honig Vineyard & Winery, Rutherford, Napa County 
Also dog-friendly, the winery caters to kids with juice boxes, Goldfish crackers and coloring books for $10 per child.

Iron Hub Winery and Vineyards, Plymouth, Amador County 
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers children’s activities — including cornhole, giant Jenga, coloring books and giant dominoes — while parents enjoy a seated patio tasting.

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate, Fulton, Sonoma County 
Kids are welcome to play bocce ball, picnic and tour the extensive vegetable garden, which includes a chicken coop, bat boxes and a demonstration beehive.

Landmark VineyardsKenwood, Sonoma County 
The winery has an expansive lawn and picnic area, plus a bocce ball court.

Napa CellarsSt. Helena, Napa County 
Families can play bocce ball, ladder ball and cornhole. The winery also has a picnic area and often features live music.

Navarro VineyardsPhilo, Mendocino County 
Navarro offers grape juice tastings of Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer for kids, plus family-friendly vineyard tours and a picnic area.

Kids can view baby animals at Raymond Vineyards. 

Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena, Napa County 
The outdoor Theater of Nature showcases the ways in which all of nature’s “actors” — including chickens and goats — play a crucial part in crafting quality wine.

Retzlaff Vineyards, Livermore, Alameda County 
The winery has a picnic area and a lawn with big toy tractors for kids to play on.

Shannon Ridge WineryLower Lake, Lake County 
This kid- and dog-friendly winery offers vineyard hikes, bocce ball and picnic tables.

Six Sigma Ranch and Winery, Lower Lake, Lake County 
Meet Topper, the winery’s pot belly pig, who loves to have his ears rubbed. On select Saturdays, kids can help feed the livestock. The estate also includes vast picnic grounds, cornhole, and trails for hiking and mountain biking.

Sterling VineyardsCalistoga, Napa County 
Ride the gondola up the mountain to the winery, where families are welcome to take a self-guided tour. Kids are given snacks, juice and a coloring book package on arrival.

Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Santa Barbara County 
Families are invited to bring their dogs, and enjoy a picnic or play a game on the giant chess board.

We make every effort to maintain the accuracy of this list. However, policies do change, so please contact wineries prior to visiting to confirm their policies. Dog-friendly wineries require that pups be leashed and well behaved.

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to promote the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with the Visit California tourism organization to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination. Wine Institute also has an export program for California Wines which represents 95 percent of U.S. wine exports.

For more information on California wines, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

Wine Institute Communications Department:


Green Medal Awards Acknowledge Growers and Vintners for Sustainability Leadership

junio 30, 2021

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Trinchero Family Estates, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, Boisset Collection Named Green Medal Winners

SAN FRANCISCO — Four California wineries and vintners were named Green Medal winners recognizing a commitment to sustainability in Leader, Business, Environment and Community categories.

The California wine community is a global leader in sustainability, with over 80% of California wine made in a Certified California Sustainable Winery. More than half of the state’s winegrape acreage is certified as Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming, LODI RULES, Napa Green or SIP Certified.

“The Green Medal is an opportunity to recognize the industry’s cutting-edge leaders in sustainability,” said Allison Jordan, CSWA Executive Director. “Their stories illustrate what it means to grow and craft quality winegrapes and wine while protecting the environment, being a good neighbor and employer and maintaining thriving family farms and businesses.”

LEADER AWARD – O’Neill Vintners & Distillers

O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, located in California’s Inland Valleys, is the recipient of the Leader Award, given to a vineyard or winery that excels in the three “Es” of sustainability — Environmentally sound, socially Equitable and Economically viable practices.

As a community leader, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has an overarching belief that sustainability is the right thing to do for everyone’s future. They are committed to making a real impact, not just in sustainable farming, but also by ensuring a well-rounded, diverse workforce with scholarship and internship opportunities to advance Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) representation. The company’s humanitarian mindset translates into its relationships with the community as well.

During the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers made and distributed hand sanitizer to local first responders and hospitals. Other examples of leadership in practice are the installation of a new BioFiltro worm farm and the recycling of over 43 million gallons of water for field irrigation.

With multiple third-party environmental and sustainability certifications, including Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, California Certified Organic Farmers and British Retail Consortium; innovative research projects; advancements in BIPOC representation; and a long-term commitment to sustainability through capital improvements in solar, water, and soil, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has demonstrated that sustainability is the ultimate expression of its commitment to people, to the planet and to profit.

BUSINESS AWARD – Trinchero Family Estates

Trinchero Family Estates, located in Lodi and Napa Valley, is the recipient of the Business Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates smart business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.

The family and staff at Trinchero Family Estates believe that they have a responsibility to their customers, employees, partners, and communities to take meaningful actions to reduce their environmental impact and to incorporate sustainability into their business decisions.

Trinchero Family Estates has reduced water use and maximized water reuse at production facilities and in the vineyards. It also minimized waste generated by its facilities, while striving to achieve a zero waste to landfill status.

By reducing energy, fuel consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions; through conservation programs, facility and package design; and the use of alternative energy installations, Trinchero Family Estates has positively impacted its triple bottom line. Its Guiding Environmental Policy has six commitments including continuing its long history of sustainable farming practices, minimizing water usage, waste generation, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and integrating environmental responsibility into its supply chain. By acting on these commitments, Trinchero Family Estates has shown that sustainability is good for business.

ENVIRONMENT AWARD – Shannon Ridge Family of Wines

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines, based in Lake County, is the recipient of the Environment Award, given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates environmental stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.

Through initiatives such as “Project Ovis,” the family is implementing a combination of sustainable, organic and regenerative farming practices, utilizing livestock like sheep, chickens and cows in their vineyards and non-crop areas. The sheep have reduced the need to mow by 500% and the use of gas-powered weed eaters has been nearly eliminated.

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines strives to bring balance to its farming system through the promotion of beneficial worms and insects and the creation of natural crop protection materials from compost to soil teas. The company is committed to data collection and analysis, the shares both its successes and failures with the greater wine industry.

As one of the largest employers in Lake County, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines contributes to a local homeless shelter, an annual wine auction for local charities and scholarship fund for local students; participates in local farmers markets; and educates community members on their sustainable farming practices.

Currently certified to Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Fish Friendly Farming and LODI RULES, Shannon Ridge Family of Wines is soon to be one of the largest certified organic, mountain-grown vineyards in the U.S. by fall 2021.

COMMUNITY AWARD – Boisset Collection

Boisset Collection, headquartered in Napa Valley, is the recipient of the Community Award, given to the vineyard or winery that is a good neighbor and employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors and/or communities.

Boisset Collection stands apart for its commitment to its local community. This commitment is demonstrated through the care and support provided to its employees during times of crisis, the provision of educational opportunities and resources and its investments and donations to charitable endeavors that benefit the broader community.

Boisset Collection educates its community and customers about sustainability through company-supported initiatives and curated guest experiences including tours through its renowned Biodynamic® gardens.

In March 2020, Boisset Collection premiered JCB LIVE, an online series that has featured over 175 guests including vintners, growers, community leaders, activists, philanthropists and more.

In 2020, through the production and sale of two wines, a donation of over $40,000 was given to support out-of-work sommeliers as well as scholarship funds from the Association of African American Vintners Scholarship Fund and Wine Unify. Boisset Collection’s goal is to donate over $140,000 in 2021 to similar organizations. With a commitment to progress and a passion for diversity, Boisset Collection is driving forward positive change for both its employees and community.

Applications to determine the winners were judged by a panel of wine and sustainability experts, including Karen Block, PhD, UC Davis Viticulture and Enology; Stephanie Bolton, PhD, Lodi Winegrape Commission; Anna Brittain, Napa Green; David Glancy, MS, San Francisco Wine School; Allison Jordan, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance; Frances Knapczyk, Napa Resource Conservation District; Cyril Penn, Wine Business Monthly; Mike Taylor, Nugget Market, Inc.; Sandra TaylorSustainable Business International LLC; and Beth Vukmanic Lopez, The Vineyard Team.

The seventh annual Green Medal awards are supported by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Green, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Vineyard Team.

Sponsors of this year’s Green Medal Awards include Wine Business Monthly, Amorim America, Farm Credit Alliance, ETS Laboratories and Protected Harvest.



Wine Institute Communications Department

Step Up Your Camping Game with Elevated Dishes and California Wines

junio 14, 2021

Tips from Food Network Personality Aida Mollenkamp

camping and wine

SAN FRANCISCO – June is National Camping Month — the perfect time to gather around the campfire with friends and family, enjoy wonderful California wine and food and immerse yourself in nature while sleeping under the stars. Campgrounds at national and state parks are already in high demand as summer approaches, but there are still good spots available through websites such as Hipcamp and Harvest Hosts, which feature campsites at wineries and KOA. Even pitching a tent in your own back yard can feel like an adventure.

One advantage of camping is sharing delicious al fresco meals cooked over an open fire, says Food Network personality Aida Mollenkamp of Salt & Wind Travel. While hot dogs and chili are classic choices, it’s easy to take camping cuisine to the next level with fresh, elevated dishes and food-friendly California wines. It just takes a little planning. “The name of the game is to prep as much as possible in advance so you can enjoy yourself at the campsite.”

Here are Mollenkamp’s tips for planning an inspired camping menu from Wine Institute that includes lighter fare, healthy fruits and vegetables and your favorite California wines this summer, which can be found at DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

Plan and Prep

Do the prep work at home. Pack meats in their marinades, chop vegetables ahead of time and make sauces and dressings in advance. This will free up time at the campsite to relax and have fun.

Pack flavorful accents. Bring along a favorite spice mixture or special sauce to add a pop of flavor to all sorts of dishes. Italian salsa verde is great for everything from topping coal-cooked potatoes to garnishing grilled steak to spreading on sandwiches. Likewise, California’s own green goddess dressing makes a delicious dip for crudités.

Upgrade your ingredients. Camping fare gets an instant upgrade with elevated ingredients such as farmstand berries and vegetables, real maple syrup and artisan chocolate bars.

Wine accordingly. To add an authentic “sense of place” to the menu and complement the diverse dishes you’ll be serving, pack a variety of California wines. If you’re hiking to a picnic spot and need to travel light, transfer the contents of glass bottles into collapsible and resealable wine containers, or opt for wines packaged in cans or cartons.

Recipes and Wine Pairings

Wine Institute offers recipes for easy-yet-elevated dishes for your next camping excursion, along with Mollenkamp’s recommendations for California wine pairings.

Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Tomato-Corn Salsa, Guacamole and Lime
The floral aromatics, citrus elements and spice of California Gewürztraminer are a perfect match for this fresh and flavorful dish. A California Sauvignon Blanc is another great option.

Camping with wine recipe grilled shrimp tostadas

Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Mint and Toasted Pita
This Greek-style salad topped with char-grilled chicken and a bright lemon vinaigrette calls for an oaked California Chardonnay or dry sparkling wine.

Grass-Fed Burger with Avocado and Chipotle Mayonnaise
Take grilled burgers to new heights with lean grass-fed beef, chipotle-spiced mayo and creamy avocado—paired with a California Cabernet Sauvignon.

Camping with wine burger

Grilled Watermelon with Salad Greens and Balsamic Vinaigrette
A sparkling California rosé or a light rosé of Grenache are ideal complements to this savory-sweet dish.

Grilled Peaches Drizzled with an Aged Balsamic Reduction
Grilled peaches are a great dessert for cooling off on warm summer nights—especially when they’re served with a California Chardonnay, Viognier or Chenin Blanc.

Camping and wine grilled peaches

Camping wouldn’t be the same without this favorite combination of graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and chocolate (no recipe required!). Enjoy the warm gooeyness with a California Port, Lodi Zinfandel or California sparkling rosé.

For more recipes, visit DiscoverCaliforniaWines.

Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to enhance the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and by showcasing California’s wine regions as ideal destinations for food and wine travelers to the state.

Wine Institute Communications Department, 415/356-7525