FROM THE WIRES...
Certified Sustainable Vineyard and Winery Announces Sustainability Initiatives Ahead of Earth Month, Including a Tree Planted for Every Wente Vineyards Bottle Sold in April
LIVERMORE, Calif. (March 31, 2023) – Wente Vineyards, the country’s longest, continuously family-owned and operated winery, is proud to announce a significant set of new sustainability initiatives ahead of April’s Earth Month. The winery was the 2022 recipient of the Wine Institute’s California Green Medal Leader Award, given to one winery each year and recognizing leadership in ethical practices that span both vineyards and winery as well as socially responsible initiatives that benefit its employees and greater community. 2023 marks Wente Vineyards’ 140th anniversary, and the team has upped the ante on their long-term sustainability goals with substantial announcements:
In 2022, Wente Vineyards completed a self-imposed third-party greenhouse gas audit with lauded environmental expert, Josh Prigge of Sustridge Sustainability Consulting. The audit found that, on average, Wente Vineyards’ greenhouse gas emission intensity is one kilogram of CO2 per liter. As of the last official measurement in 2019, 1.47 was the international winery average. In other words, at 10,628 annual CO2 emissions total, Wente Vineyards comes in well below (under 25%) the average output at 45,782 emissions – considered the international benchmark for sustainable, climate-conscious wineries. The report is a resounding endorsement of the aggressive energy, water, and carbon saving measures the fifth generation of Wente family leaders have spearheaded in recent years.
This year, Wente Vineyards has partnered with Ecologi® to help further offset the winery’s carbon footprint by planting a tree for every Wente Vineyards bottle sold in April. The team is expecting to plant 20,000 trees with this initiative, which conscious consumers can track on the winery’s Sustainability page starting April 1.
In 2023, Wente Vineyards will also complete a significant packaging refresh for its entire estate portfolio, transitioning to lighter, more carbon-neutral glass for its bottles. These bottles will also feature the winery’s Sustainable Vineyard and Winery certification center-stage on all front labels to educate the consumer on ethical imbibing. This important update was championed by the family’s fifth generation winegrowers, whose forward-thinking approach to sustainability continues to push the envelope in defining how ethical practices are measured.
“Our commitment to responsible farming has always been one of the core pillars of Wente Vineyards,” said Niki Wente, Fifth-Generation Winegrower and Director of Vineyard Operations. “It was thrilling to receive our GHG audit results and see that we are surpassing the international standards by over 25% (let alone our own ambitious goals!). As proven leaders in winery sustainability, we understand now, more than ever, how important it is to maintain our aggressive approach, and ensure that our consumers are made aware of it.”
In 2023, Niki is partnering with the Alameda County Resource Conservation District on an ambitious carbon farming plan through the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Healthy Soils Initiative. “The goal is to build up Wente Vineyards’ soil microbiome through carbon sequestration and storage to promote healthy soils with even more composting, seeding cover crop, and measuring carbon storage,” Niki explained.
Finally, sustainability measures don’t end in the vineyards and winery, and the team also equates sustainability with ethical employment practices and community well-being, which it works to continuously improve year over year. As of 2023, Wente Family Estates now offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave and has a new focus on mental wellness through Better Help – marking a significant investment in the well-being and mental health of its employees.
Wente Vineyards is a certified sustainable vineyard and winery from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CCSW). The certification is verified annually by a third party on over sixty vineyards and forty-one winery prerequisites. Year after year, Wente Vineyards must demonstrate continuous improvements and implement action plans for the following year’s initiatives. Each year, Wente Vineyards goes well beyond what is required to maintain the certification.
Check out Wente Vineyards’ dedicated Sustainability page for more information on the team’s ongoing practices – updated regularly with the most current improvements and initiatives.
About Wente Vineyards:
Founded in 1883, Wente Vineyards is celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2023. The estate has been celebrated for its industry-wide contributions to innovation as the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in the country, now owned and managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Wente family, with women leading the charge from grape to glass. The winery draws from certified sustainable estate vineyards in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay, and Arroyo Seco, Monterey appellations to create an outstanding array of fine wines distributed in all 50 states and over 70 countries worldwide.
In 2010, it joined the top 10% of California wineries that meet all three tiers within the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing codes and designation for both the estate vineyards and winery. In April 2022, the winery won the Wine Institute’s California Green Medal Leader Award. This award is given to one winery each year and recognizing leadership in sustainable practices that span both its vineyards and winery as well as the estate’s socially responsible initiatives that benefit its employees and greater community.
Located just east of San Francisco in the historic Livermore Valley, Wente Vineyards – Wente Family Estates’ flagship estate label – is recognized as one of California’s premier wine country destinations, featuring wine tasting, food and wine experiences, outdoor wine & music events, unparalleled wedding venues and The Course at Wente Vineyards, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman. For more information, visit wentevineyards.com.