International Award of Excellence
in Sustainable Winegrowing
BRIT honors organizations in the wine industry that are taking a leading role in implementing sustainable practices with its International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing. At this time, it is the only international award of its kind. The bases for the competition includes innovative sustainable practices in the categories of air, water, and land in both winegrowing and winemaking; social responsibility practices; and wine taste.
The International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing is presented during BRIT’s Fête du Vin, Wine Dinner and Auction held in Fort Worth, Texas, during the month of October. Wineries that are actively demonstrating a commitment to sustainability are encouraged to participate. As the only international sustainable winegrowing award, BRIT hopes to attract progressive and passionate wine organizations from around the world that practice innovative “ground to glass” sustainable techniques.
Nominators are required to provide an assessment of their organization's accomplishments in sustainable winegrowing, winemaking, and ecopreneural/social responsibility practices. They must describe their organization's conservation efforts in the field and in operations: how waste is avoided, how it is reclaimed, and how the winery extends conservation efforts to its customers. They also are required to submit a bottle of wine for a tasting by the judging committee.
The application is comprised of 18 high-level questions focusing on the three tenants of sustainability: environmental, social, and economic aspects. The judging committee looks for a balance between the three. Examples include seed selection, preservation, and diversity; agricultural and winemaking protocols for integrated pest management, soil conservation, and saving water and energy; packaging protocols for waste reduction; programs for reducing carbon (CO2 e) emissions; sustainable customer service practices; corporate social responsibility program; plan for continual improvement; green facility programs and/or certifications other than winemaking; and leadership in communicating sustainable best practices.
Hall Wines of California received the inaugural award in 2010. Its St. Helena winery in Napa Valley is one of the most advanced wineries in California and was the first winery in the state to receive the gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™. HALL Wines' commitment to sustainability was further reinforced by earning the Organic Certification from California Certified Organic Farmers, one of the nation’s oldest and largest organic certification and trade associations.
The winner of our 2011 award was Parducci Wine Cellars of California. Recognized as America’s greenest winery by Forbes Magazine, Parducci‘s commitment to sustainable practices sets a high standard for itself and the wine industry. The company is carbon neutral, uses certified sustainable farming practices, is 100 percent green powered, and uses an advanced water and waste recycling system.
BRIT’s International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing criteria are applicable across diverse regions and countries throughout the world. It’s BRIT’s hope that it can honor wineries from wine producing regions around the world and pay tribute to their sustainable accomplishments.