coppola-vinyard.jpgThe wine industry is making a concerted effort to adopt environmentally responsible practices, according to two UC Davis surveys of wine industry professionals and executives. 

At the annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa, Calif. this week, Robert Smiley, professor and director of wine studies in the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, said that growers and vintners both were actively engaged in environmentally friendly business activities, such as package redesign, use of biodiesel fuel, wastewater reclamation and developing “green” building plans. 

Eighty percent of the vineyard representatives said they have used sustainable farming practices on at least part of their acreage during 2008. And nearly half said they have been, or plan to be, marketing their grapes as “sustainable” or “organic” during the current or upcoming year. 

They expressed a concern, however, over the lack of clarity in the industry and among consumers over what many environmental terms like “sustainable,” “green,” and “low carbon footprint” actually mean and how industry can genuinely adopt environmentally sensitive practices.

As part of their ongoing support for the California wine industry, the Graduate School of Management and the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology will offer the 2009 Wine Executive Program March 8-12 in Sacramento. The four-day program will focus on the management skills necessary to be profitable in the wine industry  Results of both the wine executives and wine professionals surveys are available online.

(Coppola vineyard – photo from O’Malley, on Conjunction Junction blog)

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