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Sustainable Winegrowing with Vineyard Team

Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team brings you the latest in science and research for the wine industry. This on-the-go, sustainable farming educational resource provides in-depth technical information on topics like integrated pest management, fruit quality, water conservation, and nutrient management from experts like Dr. Mark Fuchs of Cornell University, Dr. Michelle Moyer of Washington State University, Cooperative Extension Specialists, veteran growers, and more. Our podcasts will help you make smarter, sustainable vineyard management decisions to increase efficiency, conserve resources, and maximize fruit quality.

Feb 12, 2024

People today are paying closer attention to the values of the brands they support.

Research conducted by Harris Poll revealed that 82% of shoppers prefer a consumer brand’s values to align with their own, and they’ll vote with their wallet if they don’t feel a match.

Welcome to Marketing Tip Monday with SIP Certified. We know customers are looking for wines labeled as sustainable. While our longer-form episodes help you learn about the latest science and research for the wine industry, these twice-monthly micro podcasts will help you share your dedication to sustainable winegrowing so you can show your customers that you share their values.

In addition to consumers voting with their dollars, Harris Poll found that 75% of shoppers surveyed have even parted ways with a brand over a conflict in values!

Sustainable winegrowers and winemakers can easily connect with conscious consumers over these 7 values."

1. Social Responsibility

Practicing social responsibility helps foster healthy relationships at work and in the community:

  • Treat employees and the community with care and respect.
  • Get involved in charity work, volunteering, & donations.
  • Are aware of the impacts of the business (social and environmental!).

2. Water Management

Did you know that less than 1% of our planet’s water is accessible freshwater we can use to fulfill our daily needs?

Sustainable wine brands do! That’s why they:

  • Use native plants for landscaping and cover crops.
  • Conduct plant and soil tests to determine irrigation needs.
  • Collect and reuse wastewater. 

3. Safe Pest Management

Both commercial and hobbyist farmers deal with pesky pests that damage crops, steal resources, and spread diseases.

Sustainable winegrowers use an informed and tailored approach to tackling their farm’s unique and dynamic pest complex:

  • Introduce beneficial insects to challenge insect pests.
  • Attract birds of prey to hunt vertebrate pests.
  • Manage canopy and fruit density to reduce mildew pressure.

All of these practices are part of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system.

4. Energy Efficiency

Making wine is an energy-intensive process. Whether from fuel, battery, or electricity, energy is used at every step of the process that turn grapes to wine.

With so many uses of energy, there are many ways to improve efficiency:

  • Reduce tractor passes with vineyard equipment that covers multiple rows.
  • Reduce energy use by properly insulating tanks and buildings.
  • Reduce dependence on fossil-fuel—based electricity with alternative sources like wind and solar. 

5. Habitat

Sustainable winegrowers cultivate a biologically-diverse ecosystem that sets the vineyard up to thrive without excessive use of inputs like water and fertilizers:

  • Create and adhering to conservation plans.
  • Maintain wildlife corridors to give wildlife safe passage.
  • Preserve open, uncropped areas so native plant and wildlife species have a home. 

6. Business

Sound and responsible business practices help set a business up for long-term success:

  • Annual and multi-year budgets.
  • Accurate record keeping.
  • Offer benefits packages and competitive pay

7. Always Evolving

In order to stay successful and relevant, sustainable businesses constantly look for opportunities to learn more and evolve:

  • Attend and host educational events.
  • Subscribe to local and industry news.
  • Provide education and upward movement opportunities for employees.

We are here to help you tell your customers how your brand protects natural and human resources with the Sustainable Story program.

This simple yet powerful free tool helps you tell your own personal sustainable message. And it just got better with a new online course.  Go to the show notes, click the link titled Tell Your Sustainable Story to sign up, and start writing your Sustainable Story today!    

Until next time, this is Sustainable Winegrowing with the Vineyard Team.


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