J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Announces California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification

As a result of its estate vineyards and wineries located in Paso Robles and Arroyo Seco, Monterey County, along with its two wineries in Paso Robles and San Jose, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has been awarded the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CCSW) distinction by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA). The certification is the result of J’s efforts. We participated in a pioneering, statewide pilot program to establish criteria for establishing and verifying a vineyard and/or winery’s adoption and implementation of sustainable winegrowing practices through a “process of continuous improvement.” With the certification, air and water quality are protected, water conservation and energy efficiency are promoted, pesticide use is reduced, ecosystems are preserved, and animal habitats are protected, among other practices that promote environmental stewardship, conservation, and social equity.

In 2003, the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) and Wine Institute established the CSWA as a non-profit organization to promote sustainable winegrowing practices as a means to promote sustainability. The Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Self-Assessment Workbook contains 227 best management practices that must be met by participants in order for them to be certified. To ensure the program’s integrity, these prerequisites were established, and a third party auditor verifies the vineyard’s and winery’s assessment results. In February of 2009, J. Lohr unveiled at its winery in Paso Robles, California, the largest solar tracking array in the wine industry—a 3-acre, 756-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) single-axis tracking system. J. In addition to creating this groundbreaking system, J. has been supplying 84 homes for many years with enough electricity, enough to power 1,542,000 kilowatt-hours through December 14, 2009. In addition to the groundbreaking system, implementing a comprehensive sustainable practice program throughout Lohr’s 3,500-acre estate program includes the use of organic soil amendments, minimal use of chemicals, erosion control, water conservation, and extensive composting of pomace and materials recycling. Lohr Vineyards & Wines’ leadership has contributed to industry-wide sustainability initiatives as well as the construction of a new winery and vineyard at the University of California, Davis, which should be completed by harvest 2010. J. Aside from major gifts toward the facility’s sensory laboratory and fermentation hall, J. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum Founder is a group of companies that contributed additional funding to the project including Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Jerry Lohr, the Wine Group, and the Jackson family. By receiving this funding, the project will be able to attain LEED-Platinum certification, the highest level of LEED certification awarded for sustainable building and design.

J. Lohr Vineyards’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, Steve Lohr, is proud of the new CCSW certification. Having achieved this certification is both a confirmation that we are committed to environmental-friendly practices, as well as a validation of all our hard work up to this point. It is also important on a broader scale. We’re delighted to contribute to the wider sustainability movement in the wine industry as one of the first wineries to achieve this certification. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines was founded in 1972 by Jerry Lohr, a South Dakota farmer who has spent six decades actively farming, making it possible for consumers to trust the accuracy and integrity of a company’s sustainability claims. This new independent, third-party certification is important for consumers. A commitment to sustainability and respect for the land informs J. Lohr’s approach to sustainability. With 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey County, and Napa Valley, Lohr Vineyards & Wines makes a full line of internationally recognized wines. J. Lohr produces four styles of signature wines: J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Cuvée Series, and J. Lohr Gesture. ARIEL (nonalcoholic) and Painter Bridge are also labeled under which J. Lohr produces a variety of flavorful wines.

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