Green biking trails winding through vineyards, wine blending competitions, cork recycling, a ladybug release, organic food and wine pairings, and of course, tastings of Pinot Noirs, Merlots and Chardonnays. That’s a sample of the many events happening this month at California’s sustainable wineries.
This April marks the first “Down to Earth Month” with wine festivals, tours, workshops, and special offers at green wineries throughout California's wine regions.
Of the 1,700 wineries and vineyards participating in California’s Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, the largest of any area, dozens are hosting events, from the Russian River Valley to the South Coast, inspired by Earth Day, April 22.
All month, the eco-friendly wineries are showing off 227 best practices of sustainable winegrowing, including cover crops like mustard, drip irrigation and process ponds to conserve water, and compost tea to minimize waste.
So stroll rolling vineyards and sip a organic wine, enjoy farm-to-fork meals while leaning about sustainable practices, biodynamic farming, weed-wacking sheep and solar arrays powering farms, and others efforts to make wine delicious and environmental conscious. Some even plant and prune with the moon’s phases.
For details on the "California Wines: Down to Earth” events, check out The Wine Institute listings. Here's a tasting:
- “Native Drought-Resistant Garden Trail:” Alameda County Master Gardeners’ annotated trail in Livermore Valley with stops at Garre Vineyard &from biodynamic Benziger Winery to organic Tablas Creek Vineyard, written up by Treehugger's Jerry James Stone, Winery, Wente Vineyards Estate Winery and Cedar Mountain Winery starts April 13. Maps available.
“Spring Release Celebration” April 14 at Ridge-Lytton Springs, a must-stop when biking the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley.
“Winemaker for a Day” immersion program at Still Waters Vineyards with a 100-year old olive grove and 60-acre vineyard and barrel tastings. DIY blend on April 14.
Heart Hill Vineyard serves rBST-hormone-free cheeses with its wine in its LEED-Silver certified facility with an innovative night air cooling system.
“Cork’n’Capsule Drive” at Riverbench Winery toasts a complimentary tasting for every bag of corks or capsules and sent to ReCORK.
"Ladybug Release" at noon at Yorkville Cellars Organic Vineyards to naturally control unwanted pests, plus a tour and tasting of an inaugural vintage paired with organic appetizers on.
Gloria Ferrer's Vineyard gives guests a California Buckeye sapling grown on the estate over Earth Day weekend.
Zaca Mesa Winery & Vineyards offers organic dog treats to visitors with pooches on April 21.
“Green with Envy” is taking bids for tastings and tours with Monterrey County Vintners and Growers’ auction.
Bicyclists gets discounts at Niner Wine Estates with its light-weight packaging, captured rainwater and wind and solar energy all of April.