/ Traveling the Green Way

What makes a sustainable vineyard

Many people love traveling to vineyards on vacation or just as a weekend getaway. The good news is that sustainable vineyards abound throughout the world, so it’s totally within easy reach to plan green travel that includes days of wine and bliss. However, before looking at any one vineyard in particular, I thought we should look at some common terms associated with eco-vineyards.

Vineyard: This is the general catch-all term for a plantation of grapevines used to make wine. Although, it’s not uncommon for vineyards to exist to be used for producing table grapes, raisins, and non-alcoholic grape juices. A vineyard may sit on land that also features orchards, other gardens, lodging, restaurants, and more attractions. The actual science, practice and study of vineyard production and farming is called viticulture. While many vineyards are amazing to visit and unique in their own way, not all are sustainable.

Organic vineyards and wines: Organic wines are made without synthetic or toxic pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides and the wines won’t have added sulfites. Organic wine can be made on a non-organic vineyard – i.e. part of the land is set aside for organics, or it can be made at a vineyard dedicated to total organics. Obviously, if you’re aiming for a green travel experience, a full-on organic vineyard is the best place to visit.

Vegan wines: Vegan wines are made with no animal derived products (which are sometimes used in the last processes of wine making).

Biodynamic vineyards: These vineyards employ a holistic approach to wine making. They practice ethical farming and place importance on animal selection, soil choices, compost, and more issues that may naturally enhance and regulate plant (or in this case vine) growth. This is a tricky term – learn more about biodynamics.

Salmon safe vineyards: These are a big deal where I live in the Pacific Northwest. These vineyards protect and restore salmon habitats. They grow cover crops to control run-off, use natural or organic methods to control pests and weeds, and plant trees on streams.

Learn more about sustainable wine and vineyards:

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    4 Comments

  • Kevin Smith says:

    cool article,
    who would have thought a winery needed to be salmon safe…

  • What a great article! It is really nice to have all of these green terms so well defined. I want to mention another cool sign that is just now hitting the market to signal consumers about the growing practices behind a certain bottle of wine. This sign that I am talking about is the SIP™ (Sustainability in Practice) Seal. In order to display this seal on their bottles a wine must have be made up of at least 85% certified fruit. The rigorous certification process requires sustainable growing practices from all angles; growers are required to prove to a third party auditor and then a committee that in their practices they have considered their duties to environmental stewardship, economic viability and social equity. These farmers pay a little bit more attention to water quality, energy conservation, biodiversity, and more. Grab a friend and grab a glass to raise a toast to this wonderful effort to bring sustainability to our wine aisles.

    For more information about these new SIP™ Certified wines check out http://www.sipthegoodlife.org.

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