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Raise a Glass to "Green" California Wines During Down to Earth Month in April
March 27, 2017

Celebrate at Dozens of Eco-Friendly Winery Events Statewide

D2E 2017 Logo D2E Logo 2016
Down to Earth Month in April offers eco-focused winery events statewide, including Earth Day in Green Valley featuring 10 wineries at Iron Horse Vineyards, pictured right.


SAN FRANCISCO — Eco-conscious consumers have several fun ways to celebrate with sustainably produced wines during California’s 6th Annual Down to Earth Month in April. California wineries will be offering dozens of sustainability-focused events and activities throughout the month from Earth Day wine festivals, farm-to-glass tours and walks with the winemaker to vineyard hikes, VIP eco-tours and more.

Created by Wine Institute — the association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses — Down to Earth Month raises awareness about the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s (CSWA) Sustainable Winegrowing Program, one of the most comprehensive and widely adopted across the globe, involving wineries and vineyards that grow 70 percent of winegrapes and ship 80 percent of all California wine. This is a remarkable accomplishment as California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.

“Consumers want to know how their wines are grown and made, and our Down to Earth Month celebration is a way for people to learn about California’s world leadership in sustainable winegrowing,” said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “In a recent study, wine trade experts indicated that they anticipate consumer demand for wines produced with sustainable practices to grow substantially over the next decade. Most of California’s wineries and vineyards embrace sustainable practices, so much of what is available is ‘green’ California wine.”

To recognize the commitment of California’s vintners and grapegrowers to sustainable winegrowing, the California Legislature has introduced a joint resolution proclaiming April 2017 as “Down to Earth Month” in California.

Check out April’s winery events throughout California to learn more about sustainably produced wines at:

April’s events are happening throughout California with new ones being added daily. View events by region here.

North Coast

On April 22, visit Napa Valley wineries and restaurants and stop by the Earth Day Festival in downtown Napa’s Oxbow Commons. Enjoy local wines and foods, local bands and kids’ activities. Napa Valley Vintners, an event sponsor, has committed to having all its eligible members in the Napa Green program by the end of 2020.

Sonoma County Winegrowers are committed to the county’s wines being 100 percent sustainable by 2019. A great way to explore Sonoma wines and green practices is at the Dry Creek Valley Passport Weekend April 28-30. More than 45 wineries are offering elaborate themed parties with food and wine pairings, chances to meet regional chefs and vintners, and vineyard tours that offer a closer look at their winegrowing practices.

In the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, the Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley festival April 23 offers the chance to taste wines from nearly 10 local wineries at Iron Horse Vineyards. California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross will discuss the future of food, while Chef Traci Des Jardins will showcase the “Impossible Burger” made entirely of plants. Guests can enjoy a National Geographic food photography exhibit, and proceeds benefit Sustainable Conservation.

Inland Valleys

About 90 miles northeast of the San Francisco Bay Area is Lodi, Wine Enthusiast’s 2015 Wine Region of the Year. The 2nd Annual Lodi Wine & Food Festival on April 1 provides an opportunity to taste wines from more than 30 wineries, many of which use sustainable practices. Gourmands can enjoy a bounty of dishes from local restaurants and caterers, wine pairings, blind wine tastings, olive oil tasting and live music.

Sierra Foothills

The Sierra Foothills wine region offers some of California’s highest elevation vineyards. El Dorado Wine Association’s 26th Annual Passport Event takes place April 22-23 and April 29-30 and is a chance to explore 20 of the region’s wineries, including participants in sustainable winegrowing efforts. Guests can sample local wines, buy gifts made by regional artisans and enjoy delicious food tastings.

Central Coast & Santa Cruz Mountains

In the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region, more than 50 wineries will offer special tastings during Passport Day on April 15, one of four times a year when wineries of this region come together to offer their wines. Another area tour is the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

The Santa Barbara Vintners Festival Grand Tasting on Earth Day April 22 is the largest tasting of Santa Barbara County wines of the year. Wine lovers can celebrate with more than 100 wineries and winemakers, more than 30 food purveyors and chefs, regional artists and more.

Southern California

San Diego offers the VinDiego Wine and Food Festival, a fun experience with 70 wineries, including many certified sustainable, on April 8. Known as the largest wine tasting in San Diego, the event offers guests a chance to sip among hundreds of California’s finest award-winning wines and enjoy gourmet bites and live music at NTC Liberty Station arts district.

California Sustainable Winegrowing

California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA), established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers 15 years ago, is a three-time recipient of the governor’s top environmental award for increasing adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in California. More than 2,000 wineries and vineyards in California participate in the CSWA program.

Wineries and vineyards around the state have taken an extra step by earning CSWA’s Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status verified by a third-party auditor. Certified wineries will soon be able to include a “CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE” logo on their bottle labels following the 2017 harvest.

Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible. To learn more, visit:

Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities at or to earn a certificate as a Sustainable Winegrowing Ambassador, take a free one-hour course here.

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Wine Institute Communications Dept.