JAMES NEVISON James Nevison is an award-winning wine writer, educator and the co-founder of HALFAGLASS. He is the wine columnist for The Vancouver Province , where his column “The Wine Guy” appears each Thursday. James is the co-author of seven best-selling books on wine in Canada, including Had a Glass 2015: Top 100 Wines Under $20 . Follow his wine musings @hadaglass.
From advocating regenerative farming to employing more efficient technology…there are a number of producers looking to help people sip more sustainably.
W hat does it mean to “sip term “sustainable” is being used accurately to describe company practices—versus simply being used as a buzzword to build hype. Ultimately, it comes down to taking action. No change will come about by simply talking the talk, a reality made all more sustainably”? It can be tricky, in the sense of knowing when the apparent by the ongoing, significant impacts from altering weather patterns and other climate change-related issues. Which is why it’s worth highlighting proactive producer initiatives going beyond business as usual. From advocating regenerative farming to employing more efficient technology, through employing renewable energy to ensuring fair working conditions, there are a number of producers looking to help people sip more sustainably. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Established in 1980, craft beer revolutionary Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has always charted its own path. From their origins, a hand-built brewery made from recycled dairy equipment, the company has maintained an independent streak, and today that means following their “Bigger Than Beer Mindset” to “…brew and do business like the planet’s future depends on it, because it does.” In practice, this commitment means installing the largest solar panel array in craft beer, along with achieving the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) platinum production brewery in the United States. Sierra Nevada also utilizes anaerobic digesters and diverts 99.8 percent of their solid waste from landfill—all while making delicious beer! Persephone Brewing Co. The adage to “think global and act local” can certainly resonate with sustainability. One local operation unafraid to commit to action is Persephone Brewing Co. Since its start, this farm-based brewery located in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast has proudly championed their focus on local ingredients—including home-grown hops— as they look to support local food security and regenerative agriculture in what the company calls their “farm to table and farm to barrel” movement. Persephone is also a certified B Corp, a network committed to transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities and the planet. One such supportive innovation is the brewery’s Pollinator Pilsner, a collaboration with TELUS Agriculture that aims to be the province’s most sustainable beer by providing a “seed to can” program that allows consumers to trace every stage of the beer’s Canadian- grown malt barley, from when the seeds were sown to when they end up in the can. Quails’ Gate Winery It’s not just local breweries focused on sustainable sipping. BC wineries have also embraced sustainability. Quails’ Gate
Estate Winery is one example, which makes sense given this has been a family-farmed operation since 1956—the connection with the land runs both deep and long. Their commitment ranges from common sense growing practices such as water management to planting cover crops and using compost to build healthy soil. Quails’ Gate has also focused on a number of other initiatives. The winery has partnered with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect the fragile ecosystems of the Okanagan Valley, donating more than $100,000 to date. As well, in 2022 the winery’s vineyards were certified by Sustainable Winegrowing BC, which the organization explains is a “made-in-BC program that leads the way in sustainable winegrowing practices and sets a standard for the province and rest of the country.” Michael David Winery The focus on sustainability often defaults to environmental concerns. While this is understandable—society and the economy cannot exist without a viable environment— true sustainable development also needs to consider people. This is the general idea behind LODI RULES and the “Certified Green” seal. Billed as America’s original sustainable winegrowing program, LODI RULES was created by California farmers and accredited by world-renowned scientists. As a signatory, Lodi-based Michael David Winery is not only committed to water management, ecosystem health, soil diversity and integrated pest management,
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