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Harvest 2014 Wine 3


Sonoma County Sustainability Initiative

In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers (SCW), in partnership with Sonoma County Vintners (SCV), announced an ambitious goal to make Sonoma County the first 100 percent sustainable winegrowing region in the United States by 2019. “Sustainability has been an important part of our winegrowers' vineyard practices for generations, and we felt strongly about putting a stake in the ground to show our commitment to preserving agriculture in Sonoma County,” says Karissa Kruse, SCW president.
 
As an early step, SCW hired longtime winegrowing veteran Robert LaVine as sustainability manager to oversee its efforts and work side-by-side with growers to become certified. “We’re taking a triple-bottom line approach to sustainability that considers impact on the environment, people and the economic viability of the business,” he says. “Transparency is vital to our success, which is why we’re only accepting programs that include third party certification, such as the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing.”
 
Since making the announcement, SCW has garnered national attention and built tremendous momentum. Most of the county’s AVAs have committed resources toward ensuring they reach this goal. This fall, SCW will roll out a groundbreaking national advertising campaign to educate consumers on what it means to farm sustainably.
 
 

Everything in Moderation

The ancient Greeks had a wine glass to ensure the drinker’s moderation. If wine was poured above a certain level, the cup spilled its entire contents out of the bottom. It’s most often known as a “Pythagoras cup,” because its invention is credited to the great Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras of Samos, best known for the Pythagorean theorem, which I’m sure we all remember from high school algebra.
 
 
 

Support for SSU

Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute (WBI) has, since its founding in 1996, carved a niche as the first academic program in the United States to offer degrees focused exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. Last year, more than 600 people from around the country studied at the institute, and professionals from a dozen countries have participated in its online programs.
 
Local businesses tied to the wine industry have long supported WBI, but a few recent donations are making it possible for the long-term vision of a dedicated facility on the SSU campus to move closer to reality. In July, Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of Wine Spectator magazine, announced a $3 million gift to the university, through the Wine Spectator Scholarship Foundation, to support construction of WBI’s new on-campus home, which will be named the Wine Spectator Learning Center.
 
In September, Young’s Market Company, a fine wine and spirits distributor based in California, made a $250,000 gift that will support completion of the Industry Boardroom at the new Wine Spectator Learning Center. Construction of the entire facility is expected to begin in late 2015, with completion projected for 2016.
 
Announcements on several other gifts were in the wings at the time of publication.

 

In this Issue

The Ancient Practice of Biodynamic Farming

Seeking stronger relationships with the Earth and ways to express truly unique terroirs, winemakers and vineyard owners across Napa and Sonoma are embracing biodynamics —“organics on stero...

Budding Business

The legalization of the cannabis market is predicted to generate more than $20 billion in U.S. sales, but rules and regulations are still in a state of flux....

Rocking the Wine World

Sonoma Cast Stone in Petaluma has been making concrete fermentation tanks for eight years. Owner Steve Rosenblatt started his company 20 years ago to create concrete for custom walls, countertops an...

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