April is Down to Earth Month, and Sunday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. I started the month in a green manner by attending the Sustainable Summit luncheon hosted by the Wine Institute and Girl Meets Grape. The event at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel’s Napa Rose restaurant included the following guests: Secretary Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Caroline Beteta, President and Chairman, Visit California; Steve Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and Peter Work, Ampelos Cellars. Representatives of California Grown and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and the Disney Resorts Environmentality were also present.
The summit’s theme reflected many aspects of sustainability, including those principles for cultivating grapes, vegetables, and other fruits. In addition, we examined the environmental impacts of sustainability. At the conclusion of lunch, we received a tour of California Adventure Park’s Disneyland Food and Wine Festival. The festival celebrates the best of California Grown, which also represents those producers that champion sustainability.
As residents of California, we should be proud of the achievements of this state and what our farm producers have accomplished to improve our environment by protecting our land for the future.
With regard to wine, 80% of the grapes grown in California are sustainable, and 75% of the wineries use sustainable practices. This number continues to increase.
Certified California Sustainable Program
The Wine Institute promotes the Certified California Sustainable Program. This program now includes 1099 certified vineyards and 127 accredited wineries. In other words, this means that those vineyards and wineries “maintain practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable. With this designation, one is assured that each winery and vineyard conserves water and energy, maintains healthy soil, protects air and water quality, enhances relations with employees and communities, preserves local ecosystems and wildlife habitats, along with improving the economic vitality of both the vineyards and the wineries.” These practices can be achieved by incorporating sustainable, organic, and biodynamic approaches to the various aspects of wine growing and winemaking. In essence, this is a holistic approach to growing and looking at our environment and communities.
The Certified California Sustainable program introduced in 2017, a new logo, which can be found on the back of wine bottles, indicating that the wine is both grown and produced as California Sustainable.
During lunch, we were served wines from three wineries, Ampelos Cellars, Ponte Winery, and J. Lohr Vineyards and Winery. These wineries capture the essence of the Certified California Sustainable program. While each grows their grapes utilizing different methods, they have a commonality in their commitment to the land as they see themselves as the stewards of the land. Ampelos, using biodynamic principles, featured their Rosé of Syrah. This Rosé is one of my favorite Rosés because a bit of Riesling is added to give the wine some added vitality. Ponte showcased an Arneis, an Italian varietal from Piemont and known for its crisp florals. Our last wine was the Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon from J. Lohr.
Our luncheon included a cuisine with produce and meats farmed sustainability and prepared superbly by Napa Rosé’s chef. The tour of the Adventure Park’s food and wine festival showed Disney Corporation’s commitment to Sustainability.
During Down to Earth Month, especially on Earth Day, remember to eat and drink sustainably. By acting sustainability responsible in each of our lives, we are not only doing something good for the environment; we are achieving something good for others as well as ourselves. Each of us can be a steward of the land. Commemorate Earth Day by doing something green. You will likely find me working in my garden.
In conclusion, Peter Work aptly said, “We didn’t inherit the world from our parents – it is on loan from our children!”
Think Green for Down To Earth Month.
California Adventure Park Food and Wine Festival continues through April 12th.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer was hosted at this luncheon. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.