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Raise a Glass to “Green” for California Wines Down to Earth Month
avril 01, 2015

April Events and Activities Highlight Sustainable Winegrowing Around the State

Winery events throughout California are celebrating earth-friendly practices
Fun winery events throughout California are celebrating sustainable winegrowing in April to share how vintners and growers use earth-friendly practices such as sheep to mow weeds, cover crops between vineyard rows for soil fertility and beneficial insect habitat, as well as conservation of natural resources.

SAN FRANCISCO — This April, get ready to raise your glass of red, white or rosé in a toast to all things « green » during the fourth-annual Down to Earth Month in California. The eco-friendly fun lasts all month long with dozens of sustainability-focused events and activities to enjoy.

Created by Wine Institute—the association of 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses— Down to Earth Month raises awareness of California’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking. Wineries across the state will engage consumers, policy leaders, media and trade with active and educational festivities such as Earth Day festivals, organic wine trails, dog-friendly vineyard hikes, wildlife talks, horseback rides, eco-tours and more.

« We created Down to Earth Month as an engaging way for wine lovers to explore California wine’s sustainability practices and the people and places behind them, » said Bobby Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. « It gives us the opportunity to celebrate and share the successes of our California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and help consumers and policy leaders understand our commitment to the environment.”

A state Senate and Assembly joint resolution proclaiming April as « Down to Earth » month in California has been introduced to celebrate the sustainable leadership of California wineries and winegrape growers. Vineyards and wineries representing more than 70 percent of California’s vineyard acreage and wine case production participate in the comprehensive California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, a remarkable scale of accomplishment as California is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer.

If you’re going to be in California in April, it’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in our world of ‘green’ wine and food at various events, such as:

North Coast

Mendocino County wineries are joining the Party for the Planet 2014 April 17–26, where visitors can attend organic gardening demos, enjoy musical performances, taste organic foods and wines from local purveyors, visit the amazing farmers markets and take advantage of lodging specials. From April 1-30 in northern Sonoma County, the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley offers a customized experience exploring the region’s certified organic and biodynamic wineries. Eat, drink and be green April 19 at Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley, which showcases music, food, the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs of Green Valley and a true « rock star’ experience » guest speaker Kevin Jorgeson, who free climbed the 3,000-foot Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. April 25, the fun-filled festival Celebrate Earth Day in Downtown Napa highlights the Napa Valley Vintner’s commitment to having all their eligible members certified Napa Green by 2020.

San Francisco South Bay/Central Coast

Who would bring an owl to a party? San Luis Obispo County wineries, that’s who! The Earth Day Food & Wine Festival on April 18 offers a fun, casual experience with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more. Plus the event proceeds benefit educational scholarships for relatives of farmworkers. Paso Robles will celebrate the region’s sustainable food and wine culture with the Central Coast Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend April 17-19. Nearby the Taste of Pismo on April 25 will offer local, sustainably grown wine and edibles at Dinosaur Caves Park overlooking the ocean in Pismo Beach.

The Santa Cruz Mountains Organic Wine Trail celebrates its earth-friendly wine region with organic wine trails, while the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day boasts many eco-friendly barrel samples and special tasting flights on April 18. Livermore Valley wineries are highlighting « Down to Earth » tours and tastings on April 18-19, including guided tastings and organically farmed vineyard and winery tours where visitors can learn about energy conservation (some use solar power) and discover sustainable methods for pest, soil and plant management.

California Sustainable Winegrowing

California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices. CSWA, a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization established by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers more than a decade ago, received the governor’s top environmental award for increasing adoption of sustainable winegrowing practices in California and for initiating new educational tools and program improvements. CSWA now has 1,900 vineyards and wineries as program participants.

Nearly 80 wineries around the state have taken an extra step by earning Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing status through a third-party certification program launched by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community’s successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible. To learn more, visit: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/sustainable-winegrowing.

In addition to sustainability goals, California wine contributes $61.5 billion to the state’s economy, attracts more than 21 million tourists annually, and generates 820,000 jobs nationwide of which 330,000 are in California, as vintners and growers keep their farms and wineries family-owned for future generations.

Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities at www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e. And while you browse the site, enjoy a fun California Wines Green Tour video.

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« Down to Earth » Events, Tours and Offers in California Wine Country
Check www.discovercaliforniawines.com for updates as events are being added continuously.

NORTH COAST

Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley
April 1-30, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Cost: Tasting fees at participating wineries apply
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
707/433-3031, debbie@wdcv.com
Enjoy a special, customized experience in Dry Creek Valley to experience the area’s certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries.

Rodney Strong Vineyards Earth Day Walk
April 11, 2015
Time: 3:00 pm
Cost: Free
Rodney Strong Vineyards, Sonoma County
707/431-1533, hospitality@rodneystrong.com
Get down to Earth with our Wine-grower, Ryan Decker and learn about Rodney Strong’s sustainable farming practices.

Mendocino’s Party for the Planet
April 17-26, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies
Various locations throughout Mendocino County
866/466-3636
You’re invited to celebrate the « green-ness » of Mendocino County at the 4th Annual Party for the Planet.

Barra of Mendocino Organic Wine and Olive Oil Tasting
April 18, 2015
Time: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Cost: Free
Barra of Mendocino, Redwood Valley
707/485-0322, katrina@barraofmendocino.com
Join the family at BARRA of Mendocino in a celebration to honor Mother Earth and the rich bounty of Mendocino County.

Earth Day Celebration
April 18, 2015
Time: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Cost: $25
Benziger Family Winery, Sonoma County
800/989-8890, Wineclub@benziger.com
Enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting and small bites.

Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley
April 19, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm-3:00 pm
Cost: $55-$250
Iron Horse Vineyards, Sonoma County
707/887-1507, info@ironhorsevineyards.com
Eat, drink and be green at this outdoor food and wine festival, showcasing the delicious Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs of Green Valley.

Prelude to Passport Dry Creek Valley
April 24, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: $75
Venues throughout Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County
info@wdcv.com
Enjoy carefully selected wine and food pairings from Dry Creek Valley, featuring a number of sustainable, organic, or biodynamic producers.

Celebrate Earth Day in Downtown Napa
April 25, 2015
Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm
Cost: Free
Downtown Napa, Napa Valley
707/968-4206, mnovi@napavintners.com
Celebrate Earth Day, the Napa Valley Vintner’s commitment to having all their eligible members certified Napa Green by 2020.

Earth Day at Sequoia Grove Winery
April 25, 2015
Time: 10:30 am -4:00 pm.
Cost: $30 in advance, $35 at the door
Sequoia Grove Winery, Napa Valley
415/392-2231, erinc@cinchpr.com
Sequoia Grove Winery’s Earth Day event will feature food and special artisan wine, as well as a performance by Lee Stetson, who is best known for his portrayals of America’s foremost naturalist and conservationist John Muir.

SAN FRANCISCO SOUTH & EAST BAYS, SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS

Eco Ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains
April 4-25, 2015
Time: Saturdays at 10 am-11 am
Cost: $219 for two ($244 value)
Cooper Garrod Estate Vineyards & Silver Mountain Vineyards
408/867-7116
ecoride@cgv.com
Winery Eco-Ride package includes horseback rides, wine tastings, lunch with wine and vineyard tour. Email or call to confirm availability.

Vine To Wine Class at Captain Vineyards
April 12, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Cost: $43
Captain Vineyards, Contra Costa County
925/899-0703
Captain Vineyards, the first green winery in Contra Costa County, wants to help you enhance your dinner party enjoyment and impress your friends!

Celebrate Earth Day on the Organic Wine Trail of the Santa Cruz Mountains
April 18, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: $5-$10
memberwineries@organicwinetrail.org
Learn about growing organic winegrapes with self-guided or guided tours, enjoy the vineyards and views, picnic and taste wine. Wineries: Silver Mountain Vineyard, Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards and Alfaro Family Vineyards.

Passport Day Santa Cruz Mountains
April 18, 2015
Time: Varies Cost: $45
Wineries throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains
831/ 685-8463, contact@scmwa.com
Four times a year the winegrowing community of the Santa Cruz Mountains comes together to celebrate the generations of farmers, vintners and families that are the roots of the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region.

Down To Earth In Livermore Valley
April 18-19, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies
Various locations throughout Livermore Valley
925/447-9463
On April 18th and 19th, wineries across the region will highlight sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices used to craft Livermore Valley’s award-winning wines.

Sustainable Vineyard Tour at McGrail Vineyards for Down to Earth
April 19, 2015
Time: 2:00 pm
Cost: $10
McGrail Vineyards and Winery, Livermore
925/215-0717, mcgrailvineyards@gmail.com
Sip on a glass of Sauvignon Blanc as you tour the vineyard and learn about McGrail’s sustainable vineyard practices.

B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bottle)
April 19, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm-4:30 pm
Cost: $9.99/bottle
Page Mill Winery, Livermore
925/456-7676, info@pagemillwinery.com
Recycling is good, reusing is better! Bring in your old/clean 750 ml wine bottle and fill it up with Recovery Red.

SOUTH CENTRAL COAST

Roll Out the Barrels 25th Anniversary
April 3-May 3, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies
Various locations throughout San Luis Obispo
805/541-5868, info@slowine.com
Meet the people behind the wines and discover the history, diversity, and farm-to-fork lifestyle of the region.

Central Coast Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend
April 17-19, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: Varies
Various locations throughout Paso Robles
kyle@vineyardteam.org
The Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend celebrates the Paso Robles region’s sustainable food and wine culture.

Talley Vineyard’s Farm to Vineyard Luncheon
April 17, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Cost: $55
805/489-0446 x25, kelly@talleyvineyards.com
Talley Vineyards, San Luis Obispo County
Enjoy a hands-on tour of Talley Farms followed by a gourmet Fresh Harvest lunch at Talley Vineyards.

Friday Wine & Cheese Pairing at Ancient Peaks
April 17, 2015
Time: 11:00 am-5:30 pm
Cost: Free with Earth Day ticket
805/365-7045, info@apwinery.com
Ancient Peaks Winery, Paso Robles
Show your Earth Day ticket for a free wine and cheese pairing.

Central Coast Earth Day Food & Wine Main Event
April 18, 2015
Time: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Cost: $50-$115
Castoro Cellars, San Luis Obispo County
805/466-2288, kyle@vineyardteam.org
The Earth Day Food and Wine Main event delivers a top quality food and wine experience paired with a casual, low-key atmosphere, all while celebrating the passionate people behind a sustainable food movement.

Wine 4 Paws
April 25-26, 2015
Time: Varies
Cost: Tasting fees apply
Various wineries throughout San Luis Obispo County
805/543-9316, info@woodshumanesociety.org
Join us on this special weekend as we raise funds for the animals at Woods. Supporting the community is one of the principles of sustainable winegrowing, so enjoy our beautiful wine region while supporting a great cause.

Taste of Pismo
April 25, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm-4:00 pm
Cost: $25-$50
Dinosaur Caves Park, San Luis Obispo County
805/773-4382, rochelle@pismochamber.com
Enjoy great food, our world-class wine country, and ocean views at the 11th Annual Taste of Pismo.

Vineyard Walk and Sustainable Scavenger Hunt
April 26, 2015
Time: 10:30 am
Cost: $35
Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
805/688-3032
Join winemaker Karen Steinwachs on a stroll through their sustainably farmed, heritage vineyard all the while on the lookout for items on her « sustainable scavengers » list. Wine tasting and lunch.

SIERRA FOOTHILLS

Down to Earth, Vineyard tours and Sustainable Wine Carafe Day
April 25, 2015
Time: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
Cost: $5 tasting fee
209/245-6177, jenae@andiswines.com
Andis Wines, Amador County
Enjoy vineyard tours throughout and learn about the sustainable viticulture practices used at Andis Wines.

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Media Contact:
Wine Institute
communications@wineinstitute.org