May 19, 2024

Episode #771 – Green Medal Winners Unveiled! Join the Celebration of Green Innovation!

In the enchanting world of wine, where the romance of tradition meets modern innovation, Grape Encounters Radio invites listeners to tune in to a very special installment of the show, Episode #772. This week, host David Wilson welcomes Allison Jordan, a long-time favorite guest.  As is the case with any of her appearances on Grape Encounters, David never misses the opportunity to tease Allison about her super-sized job title, “Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Vice President of Environmental Affairs for the California Wine Institute.”

It’s a well-deserved title because Allison wears a lot of hats, doing the work of three or four mere mortals.  Accordingly, it would not be an exaggeration to say that sustainability in the California wine industry is as far along as it is because Allison Jordan is who she is; a remarkable leader with vision and drive who has enabled California winemakers and grape growers to achieve a level of sustainability that most would’ve deemed unthinkable just a few years ago. Who better to unveil the winners of the Tenth Annual California Green Medal Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards? Allison is easily one of the most pleasant and entertaining wine experts in the country. But beyond that, she is also able to explain the subject of sustainability as it pertains to the gigantic California wine industry, in a fascinating and understandable way, without dumbing things down. This episode of Grape Encounters is 100% dedicated to the pioneers who blend heritage with foresight in the quest for sustainability.  There are four different categories, and the stories behind each recipient are absolutely mesmerizing.  Let’s take a brief look at each winner to whet your appetite, then you can hear the full story in Allison’s words.

The Leader Award: LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards

The prestigious Leader Award honors LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards for their exceptional dedication to sustainability that spans decades. Since the 1970s, LangeTwins has been the sustainability standard bearer with their eco-friendly practices, including habitat restoration, energy-efficient designs, and solar power advancements. Their community-oriented initiatives, like youth engagement and local collaborations to manage pests sustainably, demonstrate a profound commitment to the environment and the future of viticulture.

The Environment Award: Gloria Ferrer

Gloria Ferrer captured the Environment Award with its regenerative organic practices across 330 acres in Sonoma’s Carneros region. By integrating technology like AI to optimize vineyard care, introducing biodiversity through cover crops, and fostering wildlife habitats, Gloria Ferrer not only enhances soil health but also ensures that its vineyards contribute positively to the surrounding ecosystem. Their dedication to minimizing environmental impact while maximizing wine quality sets a benchmark in sustainable wine growing.

The Community Award: Cooper-Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms

The Community Award is deservedly won by Cooper-Garrod Vineyards at Garrod Farms, located in the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains. This vineyard distinguishes itself not only through sustainable agriculture but also through its profound impact on the local community. Initiatives like the Firewise Community program and extensive community involvement in local causes exemplify their role as a pillar of societal support and environmental stewardship.

The Business Award: Vino Farms, LLC

Vino Farms, LLC, earned the Business Award for demonstrating that sustainability can go hand in hand with astute business practices. Located in Lodi, Vino Farms employs advanced technologies for water and soil management, utilizes renewable energy sources, and focuses on employee welfare. Their innovative practices ensure operational efficiencies, cost savings, and a sustainable future for both the environment and the local community.

 Sustainability: A Guiding Star for the Wine Industry

This episode of “Grape Encounters” not only celebrates these winners but also delves into the broader implications of their achievements for the wine industry and environmental conservation. David Wilson and Allison Jordan discuss how these practices serve as a model for others in the industry, underlining the importance of sustainability in preserving the natural beauty and viability of wine-growing regions.

 Grape Expectations: Pioneers of Sustainable Winegrowing Get Their Day in the Sun

Listeners are encouraged to explore more about the winners and their groundbreaking practices by visiting greenmedal.org. This platform offers a deeper look into how these wineries and vineyards are paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future in wine growing. This episode is a must-listen for wine aficionados and environmental enthusiasts alike, providing an enlightening look at how sustainability is transforming the landscape of California wine growing.

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