The Oregon Wine Board is proud to showcase our industry’s committment to environmental stewardship. Oregon’s growers and winemakers are stewards of the land with a collective passion for growing fruit and making wine in a sustainable manner. Indeed, an impressive percentage of Oregon’s vineyard acreage is certified as sustainable, organic or biodynamic. Even among the many Oregon vineyards that aren’t officially certified, sustainability is both a priority and a lifestyle. And the benefits are two-fold: the practices are gentle on the earth and many winemakers believe they result in brighter, more flavorful wine that better reflect the characteristics of the land from which they are grown.
Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine – www.ocsw.org
In partnership with certification agencies throughout the state, the Oregon Wine Board has created a unifying platform and certification logo to help consumers easily identify and purchase sustainable wines. The brand is OREGON CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE WINE® (OCSW) and the effort was launched in early 2009 with the goal of communicating these practices in an understandable manner, highlight shared principles among the various certification philosophies and forge relationships with consumers who make environmental awareness or action a priority.
Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine® does not recreate the wheel for certification, but rather offers wineries currently holding and maintaining one of the certifications the chance to use the OCSW brand on their label. This logo guarantees that the wine in that bottle was made using responsible agriculture and responsible winemaking, both certified by an independent third party.
To have your wine OCSW certified, click here for complete details.
Governor Kulongoski’s office, the Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon Wine Board have joined together to develop an initiative for Oregon wineries and vineyards to assess and reduce their carbon footprint, with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral. Complete details can be found here: Carbon Neutral Challenge
Demeter Certified Biodynamic – www.demeter-usa.org
In a word, biodynamic farming is rigorous. It means growing grapes and making wines completely free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. A step further than organic, Biodynamic farming means managing the entire farm (or vineyard) as a living organism, with a high degree of self-sufficiency.
The Demeter Association is the world’s leader of Biodynamic certification and awareness. It has a long history of promoting sustainability, dating back to 1928, when it was founded to support and promote the Biodynamic agricultural methods of Rudolf Steiner. The U.S. Demeter Association certified its first farm in 1982.
LIVE, Inc. – www.liveinc.org
Low Input Viticulture & Enology, Inc (LIVE, Inc) is a program that certifies vineyards and wineries for following international guidelines for environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and economic accountability. LIVE, Inc. also provides education and resources to winegrowers interested in sustainable farming.
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic – www.tilth.org
Many of Oregon’s wineries are certified organic through Oregon Tilth, which has been a leader in certification since 1974. Oregon Tilth is an internationally recognized organization of organic farmers, gardeners and consumers who are dedicated to biologically sound and socially equitable agriculture. Their goal is to educate people about the need to develop and use sustainable growing practices that promote soil health, conserve natural resources, and prevent environmental degradation while producing a clean and healthful food supply.
Salmon-Safe – www.salmonsafe.org
Founded in 1995 by an Oregon-based river and native fish protection organization, Salmon-Safe has become one of the nation’s leading regional eco-labels. Erosion and runoff from hillside vineyards can bring silt into streams, reducing the ability of native salmon to survive. That’s why Salmon-Safe has partnered with LIVE, VINEA, and Oregon Tilth to work with pioneering wine grape growers to protect Oregon’s important salmon watersheds. Since first certifying vineyards in the Willamette Valley more than a decade ago, Salmon-Safe has certified 110 Oregon vineyards representing a third of Oregon’s wine grape acreage. Look for the Salmon-Safe label on wine and you’ll know that your purchase helps keep rivers clean so that salmon can spawn and thrive.
Vinea, The Winegrowers’ Sustainable Trust – www.vineatrust.com
The Winegrowers Sustainable Trust is a voluntary group of winegrowers who have embraced environmentally friendly and socially responsible viticultural practices. Their mission is to develop a sustainable vineyard management program that will be internationally recognized for its strict environmental standard and high quality farming practices.