Over 10 years ago, the Wine Road began taking steps for going green. Today the organization and its members continue to make strides in reducing their environmental footprint, including sustainable farming practices.

Less Plastic

Staying hydrated is key to enjoying a day of wine tasting. If you don’t sip water between each winery, your palate becomes fatigued and you can even get dehydrated. Over a decade ago, the Wine Road realized that every event was generating far too many plastic water bottles, so they made a change. Instead of wineries offering individual plastic bottles to their guests during Wine Road events, the Wine Road provided their members with five-gallon jugs of water and dispensers.

Today as you visit your favorite wineries along the Wine Road, you’ll see water dispensers in tasting rooms or carafes of water on tasting bars. They’re there to keep you hydrated so you can enjoy your day, and also to encourage folks to refill reusable water bottles rather than purchase disposal plastic bottles.

Water dispenser at the ACORN Winery tasting room.
ACORN Winery offers their guests fresh water along with tasting their sustainably grown, field-blend wines.

Less Paper

In 2008, the Wine Road also stopped mailing printed invitations. This step significantly reduced their paper consumption. Since then, the Wine Road prints fewer event programs, and encourages event attendees to use the online programs, like the one for the upcoming Winter Wineland.

Event tickets are purchased through Eventbrite, giving attendees the option to download tickets to their phone rather than print out paper tickets.

To further reduce paper consumption, the Wine Road uses email and social media posts to get the word out about events and activities along the Wine Road. To ensure you stay informed, check out these links:

Sign up for emails




Wine Road podcast

A sample of an Instagram post about Winter Wineland 2020.
Follow The Wine Road on social media and find out about upcoming events and activities along the Wine Road.

Going Green Makes Difference

Because of these changes that began in 2008, by 2018 the Wine Road reduced the number of plastic bottles dispensed by over 100,000, and has not sent out over 80,000 printed initiations. Some years ago, they also switched from helium balloons to reusable fabric flags and reusable signs to identify wineries participating in the Wine Road events.

Wine Road Event sign

Sonoma County: A Sustainability Leader

In January 2014, the Sonoma County Winegrowers announced their goal of being the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region. This region includes all of the Wine Road.

This past summer, the Winegrowers’ executive director Karissa Kruse announced Sonoma County had achieved its goal! Achieving sustainability required vineyards to cover a range of issues including reducing waste and carbon footprints, saving water and energy as well as being good employers and good neighbors. As stewards of the land, most vineyard owners were already following these sustainable practices.

Sonoma County Sustainable sign in a vineyard.

Sonoma County is now building on this goal by becoming the first wine region to participate in the California Land Stewardship Institute’s Climate Adaptation Certification Program, the first pilot program of its kind for agriculture.

Staying the Course

The Wine Road continues to look for ways that they and their members can be gentler on the environment. To read more about the Wine Road Going Green, check out details on their website. As we enter 2020, let’s take a lead from the Wine Road, and reevaluate the impression our footprint is leaving in the world around us.

Happy Sipping!

@thewineroad #wineroad #alongthewineroad #wineroadlife #sonomacounty #sustainablefarming #sipsonoma

Posted by Rebecca Germolus

Rebecca Germolus, co-owner of Maximum Value Marketing, loves Sonoma County and playing along the Wine Road. Rebecca daily immerses herself in wine country by providing cost-effective marketing and writing solutions to wineries and restaurants.

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