- Napa Green sets a new sustainability benchmark in wine growing by phasing out glyphosate and synthetic herbicides.
- The nonprofit offers tools and financial support to aid members in transitioning to sustainable practices.
- Napa Green’s initiative is a broader commitment to environmental stewardship and social justice.
- The move challenges the wine industry to adopt more regenerative and organic farming methods.
- Napa Green’s approach demonstrates the feasibility and benefits of sustainable viticulture.
Introduction to Napa Green’s Sustainable Initiative
Napa Green, a leading nonprofit in the wine industry, is redefining the path to sustainability in viticulture and winemaking. Embracing the principle that “Sustainability is a path, not a destination,” Napa Green is elevating its leadership role by mandating the phaseout of glyphosate/Roundup by January 1, 2026, and all synthetic herbicides by January 1, 2028.
A Global First in Sustainable Winegrowing
Napa Green stands out as the first sustainable winegrowing certification program worldwide to require the elimination of glyphosate and synthetic herbicides. This initiative goes beyond individual commitments to organic practices, representing a holistic approach to sustainability and climate action in the wine industry.
Supporting Members in Transition
Napa Green has developed a “Weed Management Toolkit” to facilitate this transition and established a fund to support growers. Additionally, training workshops are planned to assist members in adopting alternative weed management strategies. The organization acknowledges the challenges of this transition, offering limited variances under exceptional circumstances.
A Commitment to Proactive Leadership
Anna Brittain, Executive Director of Napa Green, emphasizes the organization’s pioneering spirit, highlighting its rigorous standards for social justice and farmworker safety. The herbicide phaseout is crucial in maintaining proactive leadership in the industry.
Industry Response and Impact
Beth Novak, President of Spottswoode Estate, echoes the sentiment, urging fellow winegrowers to eliminate synthetic herbicides and pesticides. The initiative is driven by the understanding that these chemicals harm soils, water, and air quality, essential for producing exceptional wines.
Challenges and Opportunities
While there has been a decline in glyphosate use in Napa County, alternative herbicides have seen increased usage. The company’s comprehensive phase-out plan addresses the broader issue of synthetic herbicide use. The organization also addresses concerns about increased labor and equipment costs, citing examples like Grgich Hills Estate, where regenerative organic farming has proven cost-effective.