For far longer than "sustainability" has been the buzz, most of the wineries we represent have been farming for future generations. There are different approaches to "sustainable" so we have highlight the key practices and certifications. Please use the links in the left bar to see the specific program.
All the South African wines are certified sustainable and adhere to IPW. Several are ISO 14000 and GlobalGap certified. One is organic.
All the French wines are sustainable; many organic and some biodynamic.
The wineries from Austria, Canada, New York, Oregon and Washington farm sustainably, one biodynamically.
Nearly all the wineries in California farm sustainably, some organically.
In the Words of some of the Wineries
You ask about organic or biodynamic farming. We
unfortunately can't claim to be completely chemical free but we
are moving in that direction. We do comply with IPW -- integrated
production of wine -- and receive a certificate annually -- for
accountability to the regulations. This means that we monitor the
vineyards very carefully and only use chemicals if we really need to
and we adhere to very strict regulations of no chemicals for a very
specific period before harvest. We are also members of the
Groenlandberg Conservancy which falls within the Kogelberg Biosphere
and are members of the world's first Biodiversity Wine Route.
We cannot in good faith say that our wines or vineyards are certified organic or biodynamic, but we do employ biological controls (e.g., insecticides are avoided through natural pheromone methods), and while we do use minimal herbicide treatments, our weed control is mainly mechanical. Otherwise, as with most grape farming the main issue is mildew and mold, which for us is mainly controlled with sulphur, which is organic. We do, however, supplement with synthetic mildew controls where necessary. In the cellar, the only additive is sulphur at bottling.
In sum, we completely avoid the most destructive synthetic sprays, which are insecticides; we are very minimal in the use of herbicides, which are on the whole far less damaging than insecticides; and very much minimize use of synthetic fungicides, which are themselves very neutral to the environment. In the cellar, our practices are equivalent to most organic standards.
Philip confirmed that we only use round-up on
weeds, on a need to spray basis rather than a scheduled program. With
our certified organic lavender fields, we try to keep the vineyards as
organic as possible. The surrounding farms, however, are not organic
and thus we do not have the barrier required to obtain certification.
We are registered with IPW in South Africa. This is a program whereby
we are monitored from the vineyards to the cellar as to our impact on
the environment. Things that are monitored are our spray programs in
the vineyards; quality of the grapes coming to the cellar; how we
dispose of wastes on the farm and in the cellar e.g. grape skins,
filter waste, used and broken bottles, cardboard packaging;
environmentally friendly chemicals we use in the cellar; waste water
management; noise pollution; etc
We have been "certified organically grown" for 21 years now since 1986; one of the first dozen vineyards in the state. We are not certified organic wine because we add sulfites to allow shelf life. I'm fairly certain that our white wines would qualify as vegan as we don't use the organic egg whites that we use with the reds.