Get "Down to Earth" with California Wines this April with Fun Events and Activities

Month-long Celebration Highlights State's Sustainable Winegrowing and Winemaking

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Think California wine is just red, white or rose?  It's time to discover how "green" it is, too. Wine Institute has created California Wines: Down to Earth Month, a month-long, statewide celebration of California's leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking, featuring practices that are environmentally and socially responsible.  This April marks the campaign's second year.

Wineries across the state will engage consumers, policy leaders, media and trade with fun, sustainably focused festivities to learn about California wine's eco-friendly practices and the people and places behind them.  From Earth Day festivals and "green wine trails" to dog-friendly vineyard hikes, wildlife talks, horseback rides and eco-tours, the state's wineries will highlight being green this April.

"Wine lovers can do more than taste; they can experience where and how wines are grown and made with our green-themed events this April," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.  "We have made a long-term commitment to sustainability.  Wineries and vineyards that produce nearly two-thirds of California's winegrapes and wine participate in our California Sustainable Winegrowing program with more than 10,000 attending educational workshops since the program's inception a decade ago.  The scale of accomplishment is remarkable, as California is the world's fourth-largest wine producer."

Down to Earth Month features a wide variety of events for visitors to enjoy.  In Napa, Down to Earth with Napa Green Certified Wineries is a fun way to learn about green design, conservation and creative re-use as well as attend related tasting events April 19-21.  Central Coast wineries are offering an Earth Day Food & Wine Festival on April 20 with more than 200 growers, vintners and chefs serving local wines and foods with music, dancing and more.  The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day celebrates its earth-friendly wine region with organic wine trails, barrel samples and special tasting flights on April 20 to support Save Our Shores, a nonprofit dedicated to clean beaches.  Livermore Valley wineries are highlighting sustainable winegrowing and winemaking with special "Down to Earth" tours and tastings on April 21, and Mendocino wineries are offering Where the Earth IS First Fest April 19-28 where visitors will enjoy a host of eco-friendly activities and enjoy organic wine and food.  From April 1-30 in Northern Sonoma County, the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley offers a special, customized experience exploring the region's certified organic and certified biodynamic wineries.  Explore all of the Down to Earth Month activities at www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e or click here for a pdf listing.   And while you browse the site, enjoy a new sustainability video at www.discovercaliforniawines.com.

In addition to sustainability goals, California wine contributes $61.5 billion to the state's economy, attracts more than 21 million tourists annually, generates 820,000 jobs nationwide of which 330,000 are in California, as vintners and growers keep their farms and wineries family owned for future generations.

California is a world leader in sustainable winegrowing practices.  The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) Code of best practices has been used by 1,800 wineries and vineyards to evaluate the sustainability of their operations, representing 72 percent of California's winegrape acreage and 74 percent of the state's wine shipments.  Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing and other statewide and regional programs such as Bay Area Green Business Program, Fish Friendly Farming, Lodi Rules, Napa Green and Sustainability in Practice (SIP) play vital roles in the California wine community's successful efforts to produce high quality wine that is environmentally sound, economically feasible and socially responsible.  To learn more, visit: www.discovercaliforniawines.com/d2e.

SOURCE Wine Institute



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