The Most Sustainable Wineries in the United States

31 DEC 2017

The Most Sustainable Wineries in the United States

Author: Misty Foster

The list of wineries in the United States with full or limited production of organic, biodynamic and sustainably-grown wines is steadily growing. It’s an exciting time to be a wine producer and we are here to showcase the folks that are taking the lead.

West coast is the best coast, right? For now, the answer is yes. California is king not only of overall production (90% of the total American wine production), they also produce the most ecologically-driven wines. California comes in fourth place, behind Italy, France and Spain for most wine production in the world. It’s easy to see how the Golden state takes home most of the gold (or in this case, “green”) when it comes to their award winning wines.

Yet all 50 states in the US have some form of viticulture. At one point, Kentucky produced more than 50% of all grapes and wine. While the rest of the country is working to keep up with California, there are several notable wine producing states outside of the west coast. Indiana, Colorado, Texas, and Missouri are all staking their claim.


1.  Round Pond Estate :  Napa, California 

Round Pond Estate is owned and operated by the second generation of the MacDonnell family, and specializes in estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oils, red wine vinegars, artisan citrus syrups and hands-on, garden-to-table guest experiences. They encourage a natural soil health and a reduction in use of chemicals. The company believes in fare working conditions for the farmers and employees who harvest the land and are passionate about fish-friendly farming practices, as well.


2.  Fetzer :  Hopland, California

"Nothing worthwhile is ever easy." This is the slogan that Barney Fetzer committed to when he started crafting earth-friendly wines in 1968. Fetzer is unique in that they not only practice regeneration in their farming, the whole ethos is about that principle. The company aims to be net positive by 2030. Through clean energy, regenerative agriculture, a reduction in greenhouse gasses, and zero-waste they are on track to achieving this laudable goal. The winery has several impressive certifications and awards for conservation and recently became the largest B Corp winery in the world and the only certified winery in California.


3.  Stoller :  Willamette, Oregon

Oregon is a rising star in the wine world and Stoller is in part to thank for that. The estate was the first ever winery in the world to become LEED certified. They were also the first to produce solar energy in the region. The company is LIVE, and CNC certified and a Salmon Safe facility. They use gravity flow winemaking which reduces the need for pumping and in turn conserves energy.


4.  Francis Ford Coppola :  Geyserville, California

Yes, those Coppolas. Not only do they make exceptional movies, they make equally exceptional wines. They just won the 2017 Green Medal award for Leadership by making the commitment to producing 100% sustainably certified grapes by 2019. Other impressive initiatives that they’ve taken are their innovative grape grower program and commitment to social responsibility.


5.  Shelburne Vineyard:  Shelburne, Vermont

Vermont has more than green mountains. They have green growing practices! The Shelburne vineyard sources their grapes locally and are committed to following Cornell University’s “Vine Balance” protocol. Their tasting room is LEED-certified and all of their in-house products are chosen with sustainability in mind.


6.  Lieb Cellars :  Long Island, New York

New Yorkers don’t have to go far to enjoy small-batch, organic wine. Hop on the LIRR to the 12-acre Leib Cellars. Sustainably farmed, 100% estate-grown fruit and a team of passionate, young growers makes this NY winery a stand-out. The WSJwine named their 2013 Reserve Pinot Blanc a “Top 12 Wine in America”.


7.  Bending Branch : San Antonio, Texas

Hill Country, Texas is known for more than barbecue, the region produces the best wine in Texas. Bending Branch just won the 2017 “Top Texas Winery” by the San Antonio Express. With a focus on Texas terroir, sustainable practices, and organically focused operation, this winery is one to keep an eye on. Owners Bob and Brenda Davis both have stake in the sustainability game and are looking to be at the forefront of growing practices in the region by using experimental techniques like saignée and extended maceration.


Sourced:  Foster, M (2017)  The Most Sustainable Wineries in the United States  Available : (accessed  Dec 31, 2017)