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Sustainability in the Vineyard

A recent article in Wines & Vines talks about what the Central Coast Vineyard Team is doing in terms of sustainability. In part, the CCVT mission statement states they “will identify and promote the most environmentally safe, viticulturally and economically sustainable farming methods, while maintaining or improving quality and flavor of wine grapes.” Certainly, these are very laudable goals.

In 1996, CCVT established a Point System for vineyards to help the growers monitor their own progress towards sustainability. By 2002, members began to discuss the idea of changing to a third party evaluation.

The result of these discussions and planning is the establishment of a pilot program this summer. By following standards, providing documentation and submitting to a third party auditor. CCVT is hopeful that by 2009, wines labeled with “Certified Sustainably Grown” fruit will be available for consumers.

Obviously, a lot of work has gone into this sustainable vineyard concept. How much will it add to the cost of a bottle of wine? Are consumers willing to pay more for a bottle of wine labeled “Certified Sustainably Grown?”

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