Practical Winery
65 Mitchell Blvd, San Rafael, CA 94903
phone: 415-453-9700 ext 102
email: Office@practicalwinery.com
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2009
GRAPEGROWING
DRAFT requirements for the proposed process-based verification include:
  • Annual Self-Assessment using the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Workbook and supporting evidence to demonstrate accuracy of category choices (1 to 4) or non-applicability for certain SWP criteria during a regularly scheduled third-party audit.
  • Demonstration of a process for identifying the key sustainability issues for their company, prioritizing areas for improvement, and establishing Action Plans that are implemented and updated annually
  • The ability to demonstrate practices that maintain or improve category choices (1 to 4) for SWP criteria and methods to correct any items identified internally or by an auditor as inconsistent with SWP self-assessment categories.
  • Demonstration of continual improvement over time.
  • Signed commitment to the Code of SWP, continual improvement, and applicable legal requirements.
Sustainability performance indicators
CSWA is developing a complementary project to identify key sustainability performance indicators for the industry (energy and water efficiency, GHG intensity, etc.) in order to baseline the industry and set targets for improvement. The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops will inform the final set of metrics that will be used.
The California wine industry has several active representatives involved in this related project. Participants in the certification program will be required to consider industry-wide targets when creating their own Action Plans for continual improvement.
CSWA also intends to develop a competitive sustainability award program to acknowledge leaders in sustainable winegrowing and those that are contributing significantly to improvements on key industry performance metrics. Details of the award program are still being developed.
A certification program in which all California wineries and vineyardsmay participate — coupled with the publication of progress reports of assessment results and performance-based targets for industry-wide improvement — will uniquely position the state’s wine community by credibly demonstrating adoption of sustainable practices, continual improvement, and positive economic, environmental, and social impacts.