As an organization, we are deeply passionate about education in viticultural excellence and environmental stewardship. To this end, we deliver dozens of educational programs to Napa County growers each year centered on farming with the highest respect for people and the planet.
Building on this legacy of stewardship, we recognize an ever-growing need for leadership in ensuring Napa County’s resilience in the face of climate challenges and for setting a worldwide example in developing climate solutions. We view our involvement in this as embedded in NVG’s mission and continue to expand programming and educational tools on climate-smart farming techniques aimed at sequestering carbon and promoting regenerative practices. NVG is excited by the fact that best farming practices have the potential to result in significant ecosystem services to the great benefit to our local climate and environment.
The Judgement of Paris put a spotlight on the Napa Valley and since then we have grown into a leading, globally recognized wine region. However, our world is changing rapidly. Future wine consumers increasingly care about where their wine comes from and how it is farmed. As innovators and leaders, we have a unique opportunity to reinvent ourselves, collaborate, and put the spotlight back on us. As Jamie Goode shared at Ahead of the Curve, “wine is the rockstar of agriculture and is ideally placed to lead conversations about climate change and green credentials.”
Our Role in Climate Change
Growers Cover a lot of Ground!
We acknowledge that wine grapes as a food commodity are not a significant contributor to climate change. But that does not mean that we can’t do more!
11% of the planet is covered in farmland
There are 18 million acres of vineyards worldwide
Vineyards not only can be carbon neutral but can be climate positive over the medium and long term
This means there is a vast opportunity for grape growers to help mitigate climate change by maximizing the inherent climate benefits of farmland through the implementation of responsible farming practices.
The Ecosystem Services of Ag Land Ecosystem services are the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to people and the planet and have a major role to play in mitigating climate change and ensuring climate resilience.
Preparing one's business to withstand the adverse effects of climate change requires the implementation of both mitigation and adaptation practices across all aspects of operations.
Mitigation practices involve taking actions to curb or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, such as transitioning to electric vehicles or reducing packaging weight.
Adaptation practices, on the other hand, aim to reduce vulnerability to the effects of climate change, such as implementing dry farming techniques or creating onsite wetlands.
Commitment Education in environmental best practices with an emphasis on climate is a key component of NVG's Strategic Plan. Along with staff support and Board direction, NVG's Environment & Climate Subcommittee is actively working to provide leadership around and resources on practical climate solutions and best practices in vineyards.
Partnership The Napa Valley Grapegrowers is a 1% for the Planet Environmental Partner. 1% for the Planet is a global movement, created by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, founder of Blue Ribbon Files, that provides organizations with support for solving the planet’s problems. The carefully vetted approval process reviewed the NVG for its advocacy, conservation, stewardship, and education efforts toward a brighter future. Learn more.
Research Beginning in 2019, NVG began work with a team of California soil scientists and extension agents spearheaded by Dr. Cristina Lazcano, PhD, UC Davis, to submit a 3-5 year vineyard trial project to study soil health, and the potential for carbon sequestration in Napa Valley soils. Our eventual goals include developing real metrics for what a “healthy soil” is for premium wine grapes, and as we learn, educating our members and all growers on what practices best impact soil health, carbon sequestration, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our vineyards.
A special thanks to Dr. Kristin Lowe, Co-Chair NVG Member Services Committee, and Dr. Cristina Lazcano (https://lazcano.faculty.ucdavis.edu/ ) for their work on the development of this timely and important research project, and to all of our NVG Grower members who have agreed to participate in the study.
Education NVG launched a Climate Science Seminar Part 1 in 2021 with Professor Andrew Isaacs from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Andrew is a geochemist by training, and looks at the issue of climate change through the lens of what science tells us is actually happening with our climate, and what makes sense if we want to do something about reducing our climate impact. We have hosted 3 workshops per year since 2021 and launched a Part 2 workshop in 2023.