Conventional versus Environmentally-Sensitive Wines: The Status of Wine Production Strategies in California North Coast Counties

Document Type


Journal or Conference Title

Journal of Business and Public Affairs







First Page


Last Page


Publication Date



Barowsky School of Business


Contrary to "command and control" regulation, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA), in collaboration with the California Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrowers (CAWG), has developed a voluntary self-assessment code for the wine industries to achieve more efficient Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the wineries in the three California north coast counties of Mendocino, Napa, and Sonoma. This study examines whether they meet or exceed the goals of the self- assessment regulatory policies, whether they have redesigned their wine strategies, and whether they produce environmentally sensitive wine as defined by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Codebook. Additionally, it will examine whether the vineyards and wineries in these counties adhere to the voluntary self-assessment procedures proposed by the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices when growing and producing organic wine. Finally, this study will discuss what lessons these three counties can learn from each other about sustainable wine production. They are assessed in terms of their management of 1) the ecosystem, 2) energy efficiency, 3) winery water conservation, 4) materials handling, 5) solid waste reduction, 6) environmentally-preferred purchasing methods, 7) human resources, 8) neighbors and community relations, and 9) controlling and auditing vineyard inputs. Findings show that of the wineries in these three counties, Mendocino and Napa County have gone beyond the requirements of the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices, while Sonoma County appears to be lagging behind. Given this, the present study will map out how the three wine counties could collaborate to design a better future with sustainable, environmentally friendly wines.


Copyright © 2008 Scientific Journals International. All rights reserved.