Colleen Supan
March 27, 2012
green wine grapes

Photo by iStockphoto/Thinkstock

To coincide with Earth Day (April 22), many California wineries are participating in a month-long celebration of Earth-friendly wines throughout April. Participating wineries make their vino sustainably. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization created by the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers, created the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing certification, which is given to wineries that use biodynamic or organic farming, beneficial birds for weed and pest control instead of pesticides, composting and reusing, variable frequency drives on glycol pumps and pipe insulation.

Certified-organic grapes must be grown without synthetic pesticides or nonorganic chemicals, and the wine cannot have more than 10 parts per million sulfites per bottle. Biodynamic vineyards provide natural alternatives for getting rid of waste, which promotes a healthy ecosystem. Planting and pruning is determined by the phases of the moon, and compost teas enhance soil and promote microorganisms. No synthetic pesticides or nonorganic chemicals can be used.

The month-long Down to Earth celebration gives all wine lovers the opportunity to spend time with some of the winemakers who make the effort to help keep their community clean. There will be many eco tours and wine and food festivals during the month of April.

To find out which wineries are participating, visit California Wines: Down to Earth.

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