may 8, 2025 | Charles Krug Winery, Carriage House


Each of the other five pillars all contribute to climate action. Energy and water efficiency is critical in the vineyard and winery, and reduces operational carbon footprint. Similarly with recycling, composting and green purchasing. Reducing pesticide and fertilizer use also means reduced manufacturing, shipments, and costs, not to mention that nitrous oxide (which results from nitrogen fertilization) is 200x more potent that CO2 emissions. In terms of social equity there are considerations like employee commute and public transportation, as well as many examples where employees who work for leading businesses committed to sustainability will take these practices home with them, broadening the impact.

Then there are next steps in climate action, like renewable energy (first ensuring you don’t “solarize your inefficiencies”) and Electric Vehicle (EV) charging. As well as hot topics like LIGHTEN UP! – reducing bottle and packaging weight.

Next, you may ask, what is this “Regenerative” buzzword? These are win-win practices like cover crops, compost, reduced tillage, reduced fertilizer and pesticide use, planting hedgerows, preserving and restoring riparian and forest habitat, which increase soil health, water and nutrient retention, biodiversity, and vineyard resilience to drought and increasing high heat days. At the same time these practices store more carbon in the soil – called carbon sequestration. It is exciting that growers have an active and meaningful role that they can play in drawing down carbon emissions and being a part of the climate change solution!

Here are some other examples of how sustainable vineyards and wineries are taking climate action:

  • Napa Green Certified Vineyards receive custom “Carbon Farm Plans” for each of their vineyard properties and commit to ongoing practices to enhance soil health AND store carbon. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified “nature-based solutions” as one of the top 5 ways to fight climate change
  • Joining the Porto Protocol and committing to be a part of the climate solution
  • Opting up to “Deep Green” with Marin Clean Energy (MCE) and receiving 100% renewable energy from CA wind and solar
  • On average, 30-50% of a winery’s carbon footprint lies in packaging and distribution, so let’s dismiss this idea that “bigger is better” and lighten up bottle weights and packaging, which cuts material and shipments costs, and can reduce breakage
  • Rethinking overnight shipping and long-distance business trips, as air freight and travel is a huge source of emissions. IF you do fly purchase verified carbon offsets
  • Installing nitrogen onsite, eliminating bottled water deliveries, and reducing waste pickups all reduces trucks on the road, reducing transportation emissions