LODI - Lodi Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing has received its accreditation from Protected Harvest, the Lodi Winegrape Commission announced.
The revised guidelines culminate two years of work by Lodi wine growers to improve upon the original certification standards. The revision includes 22 new measures that address issues including energy management, employee incentives and benefits, soil conservation, water quality and disease management, among many others.
There are now 101 farming practice standards in six chapters: Business Management, Human Resources, Ecosystem Management, Soil Management, Water Management, and Pest Management.
All standards have been peer-reviewed by scientists, members of the academic community and environmental organizations before accreditation by Protected Harvest. Vineyards must pass a third-party audit to verify vineyard practices prior to certification.
“We are very proud of the rigor and quality these standards represent,” noted local grower and committee chairman, Stanton Lange. “They reflect Lodi’s generational commitment to responsible farming and give wine lovers the opportunity to support our efforts by enjoying a glass of Lodi Rules certified sustainable wine.”
In 2005, Protected Harvest certified six farming families and 1,455 acres in the Lodi appellation. Over the past seven years, the program has grown to over 85 farming operations, and 20,000 acres of Lodi vineyards have been certified. There are an additional 6,000 acres certified from Sonoma to Soledad. Over 20 wineries now produce wines that bare the Lodi Rules seal on the label.
Protected Harvest is an independent nonprofit organization governed by Sustainability Council of leading environmental NGOs, scientists and practitioners that approve sustainability standards. Protected Harvest has received the Consumer Union’s highest rating for a meaningful eco-label.