Viticulture briefs

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Local wineries win environmental awards

Three local wineries have been named as recipients of the California Green Medal in the third annual Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery of Geyserville won the Leader award for business practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically viable. The winery has committed that by 2019 all of its grapes will be sustainably certified. It also has a volunteer Green Team of employees who work throughout the business to implement sustainable ideas.

Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery in St. Helena received the Environment medal for its stewardship through good environmental practices.

The winery transitioned to organic farming in 1985 and also works with biodynamic farming techniques, where crops are grown without chemicals in an attempt to make the farm’s ecosystem balanced and self-sustaining. It also donates 1 percent of its annual profits to environmental groups.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in Santa Rosa won the Community medal for its strong relationship with its employees and neighbors.

The winery offers a comprehensive benefits package as well as annual health and wellness screenings, and funds an annual service day for employees to work at local nonprofits.

The medals recognize wineries and vineyards that are committed to sustainability practices. They are presented by a consortium from the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Wine Institute, Lodi Winegrape Commission, Napa Valley Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and The Vineyard Team. Winners will be honored at a luncheon in Sacramento on April 17.

Winegrowers to hold resource fair at SRJC’s Shone Farm

The Sonoma County Winegrowers will hold its annual Sustainable Winegrowing Field Day on April 25 at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Shone Farm in Forestville.

The event is free to all grape growers in Sonoma and Marin counties as well as other vineyard professionals and students. The fair will be from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event will also feature discussions on issues such as pest management, soil nutrition, powdery mildew and the latest research on the Russian River watershed.

For more information, contact Emily Farrant at 707-522-5851 or Andriana Duckworth is handling vendor resources at the fair and can be reached at 707-522-5867 or

Delicato Family Vineyards buys Central Coast winery

Delicato Family Vineyards of Napa announced April 5 that it has bought the California Blossom Hill Winery in San Benito County from Treasury Wine Estates.

Delicato said it would rename the facility the Alba Coast Winery. The sale will allow the company, the seventh-largest vintner in the country, to produce an additional 4 million cases. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The sale does not include any brands. Instead, it will allow Delicato to more efficiently process grapes from its vineyards in Monterey and the Central Coast for such labels as Noble Vines, Gnarly Head, Z. Alexander Brown, Diora and Irony.

The acquisition follows Delicato’s deal last month to purchase a significant equity stake in Sonoma’s V2 Wine Group.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

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