Sustainability in the winemaking business seems to be common practice these days. A number of certifications now exist for vineyards and wineries to highlight their sustainability practices, from energy efficiency to biodiversity, waste management and more.

While certifications exist across regions, we took a look at two California-based certification programs to find out what they look for in sustainable vineyards. The Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing is California’s first third-party certified sustainable winegrowing program. According to their website, the Lodi Rules “takes a comprehensive approach to farming that goes beyond just pest management to promote practices that enhance biodiversity, water and air quality, soil health, and employee and community well-being.” If a winemaker wants to bear the Lodi Rules seal, their wine must be at least 85% produced using ingredients from certified vineyards, and vineyards need to qualify for certification annually.

Another California-based certification program, Sustainability in Practice (SIP), touts over 32,000 certified acres across California. The program focuses on factors such as: Air and water quality, social responsibility, integrated pest management, and continuing education. They, too, require a minimum of 85% certified fruit in order to bare the SIP seal.

We took a look at Lodi Rules- and SIP-certified winemakers across California, and picked 7 of our favorite sustainable wineries right now:

Baker & Brain

Baker & Brain defines their practice as “wine with a purpose”. Several of their wines are SIP-certified and all of their wine is produced at a winery that recycles 100% of their waste. The facility is also solar-powered.

(Photo courtesy of Macchiatto)

Twisted Roots Vineyard

Twisted Roots Vineyard is Lodi Rules certified and believes in letting the grapes “speak for themselves.”

Twisted Roots vineyard

Twisted Roots vineyard

(Photo courtesy of Twisted Roots Vineyard)

Riaza Wines

Erin and Rick Taylor, the minds behind Riaza Wines, believe that “wine should be easy, fun and approachable.” They are Lodi Rules-certified winemakers.

(Photo courtesy of Lodi Wine)

Ampelos Cellars

Ampelos Cellars is touted as the first certified organic, biodynamic, and sustainable vineyard in the U.S. They are SIP-certified.

(Photo courtesy of Ampelos Cellars)

Ripken Vineyards & Winery

With perhaps one of the best descriptions ever written, Ripken Vineyards & Winery explains, “We consider ourselves an artisan ‘barnista’ winery that is uniquely different, electric, eclectic, quirky, esoteric, even wacky, but never boring or weird.” They are Lodi Rules certified.

(Photo courtesy of Lodi Wine)

Ancient Peaks Winery

Ancient Peaks is a SIP-certified winery started by three winegrowing and ranching families, and was named after the Santa Lucia Mountains that border the vineyard.

(Photo courtesy of Seven Oaks Ranch)

Peltier Winery & Vineyards

Peltier Winery & Vineyards believes that “caring for the land in a sustainable way for future generations will bring forth the true nature and character of our region in producing great wine.” They are Lodi Rules certified.

(Photo courtesy of Peltier Winery)

Did we miss a favorite winery of yours? Reply and let us know!

This is part three of our series this month on sustainability in the beverage industry. 

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