California lawmakers met at the Napa Valley College Wednesday to explore two problems in the wine industry: sustainability and farmworker housing. 

State Senator Bill Dodd stated at the beginning that he hoped to “take away best practices and promote those practices across the wine industry and other agricultural sectors.”

Ideas were exchanged and there were deserved congratulations of successes. Constellation stated that 14,000 of their 15,000 acres are certified through programs like “Fish Friendly Farming” or Napa Green. Napa Valley Vintners reported that 52% of their vineyards are certified Napa Green, a subsidized, rigorous program promoting sustainable practices.

All touted allegiance to sustainability. However, not a word was mentioned about how sustainable a program is if it still allows herbicides which contain  carcinogens.  On July 7, 2017, the state of California added glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to its cancer-warning law, also known as Proposition 65. In 2016, the World Health Organization came to this same conclusion, basing its decision on numerous studies. The Napa County Ag-Commissioner’s office reported that over 53,000 pounds of glyphosate were used in 2015.

Napa County residents are worried. Just read Next Door posts for your neighborhood. People care about what is being sprayed in, on and around the vineyard next to them.  And they care about the runoff and drift entering our air, our groundwater and our streams and rivers. Glyphosate can be found in mother’s breast milk, well water, and in wine.

Winemakers want to be sustainable, but a growing number of people are insisting no corners are cut,  that no one, no matter how well-heeled,  poison the ground, the air and the water of our home.

Check out this recent article in Organic Authority on Sonoma and Napa sustainability efforts.

Join us in insisting our Napa County be truly sustainable–  and poison free.