In my story of Napa Valley – All of the Rutherford Dust Society Landholding Members are Now Active in the Napa Green Land Program – I mentioned the following:

“The twenty-five-year-old organization of growers and vintners in the Rutherford appellation, announced in January 2020, that all of their landholding members are now active in the Napa Green Land program. This makes Rutherford the first appellation association to achieve 100 percent participation in the sustainable winegrowing certification.”

I followed that with the following:

“This is similar to Sonoma County wanting 100 percent participation in their sustainable program. I don’t believe the 100 percent has been completely achieved. I yet to read about it happening. I’m also confident that they got close, instituting a program that is years ahead of their end date… Still, an entire AVA the size of Sonoma County? How could that really happen, most especially with some of the smaller wine brands, who can’t afford the staff to jump through so many real and necessary hurdles?”

We got our update and it very awesome

Sonoma County the Recipient

of California’s highest environmental honor
2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award

This morning Sonoma County weighed in. What I had supposed with Sonoma County is exactly what has happened with Sonoma County. They’re still bringing those, who need some guidance in their vineyards, into the fold.  The task is daunting, by the way, for anyone. The hurdles are just logistical barriers for jumping over, and they’re dedicatedly working on it. Not only that, but check this out.

From Karissa L. Kruse (President, Sonoma County Winegrowers, Executive Director, Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation)

“From the beginning, the support from local winegrape growers to participate in our sustainability program has been overwhelming and, as a result, growers from throughout Sonoma County are recognized as global leaders in sustainability.  As of September 12, 2019, more than 99 percent of the vineyard acreage in Sonoma County has completed certification, by a third-party auditor.

“A key to our success from the outset was to provide all our growers with unmatched support, insight and expertise to aid their efforts including free access to our sustainability advisers who helped them prepare and become certified sustainable. In addition, Sonoma County Winegrowers held hundreds of trainings and educational sessions focused on over 200 best management practices.  We will continue to work with those few remaining growers to get those not yet certified into the program.

“Finally, the Sonoma County Winegrowers will continue to build upon its sustainable leadership by targeting climate change.  Starting this year, the organization is the exclusive participant in the California Land Stewardship’s Climate Adaptation Certification Program, which is the world’s first program of its kind for agriculture.   Soon through this new effort, both the grower and the public will be able to better understand the role of vineyards in climate change and the immediate benefits of agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sequester carbon.”

So, there we have it… Sonoma County is just millimeters away from its goal. And, if anybody can get this done, it’s Karissa Kruse. We’ve worked on another project related to Sonoma County, and she just takes the bull by the horns. Sonoma County owes her an incredible debt of gratitude.

Now we know we’ll all have something else to celebrate soon… Sonoma County will be 100 percent sustainable, and we’ll pass the Bubbles! (They’re already chilling.)