SAN FRANCISCO — The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) will receive a grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation to survey winegrowers regarding motivations for adopting sustainable winegrowing practices and a grant from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to provide integrated pest management education for winegrowers and other grape growers.
The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation will award $82,000 to CSWA to identify motivations and conservation benefits of sustainable practices. The project will involve conducting interviews of 100 growers to explore the motivations for adopting sustainable practices as well as perceived benefits, barriers and incentives to adoption. Results will be used to increase and speed adoption by the California wine community and other agricultural sectors. For instance, CSWA will conduct workshops that inform growers about survey results and the benefits of effective implementation of ecosystem/conservation practices, such as biodiversity protection, watershed restoration, and integrated pest management.
CSWA also will receive a $183,640 grant from DPR as part of the Pest Management Alliance Grants program. The project will extend proven, reduced-risk pest management strategies from the Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook to winegrape, table grape and raisin growers throughout California. Using 10 demonstration vineyards and a series of 20 educational events, the Grape Pest Management Alliance intends to achieve widespread adoption of economically viable integrated pest management practices that reduce pesticide risks to air and water. The grant calls for a 20 percent increase in winegrape performance, compared to current sustainability criteria, and a grower survey to capture project impact on table grape and raisin acreage.
"The California wine industry is working to enhance the economic and environmental health of its communities through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices. The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation grant will help us better understand the motivations and benefits of adopting sustainable practices and other incentives that will help increase the number of vintners and growers participating in the program," said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.
"The sustainable winegrowing program has already generated widespread participation that has given California’s wine industry a unique advantage in the global market," said Karen Ross, President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. "The DPR grant is an exciting opportunity to work with other grape sectors that share the wine community's commitment to environmentally responsible pest management practices that support the production of high quality grapes and wine."
CSWA's Sustainable Winegrowing Program (SWP) is a ground-breaking initiative that encourages and enables winegrowers and vintners to adopt the highest standards of sustainable practices. The program, established in 2002, is a partnership between Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).
In 2003, Wine Institute and CAWG formed the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a San Francisco-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to assist in the implementation of the SWP. For more information on the alliance, visit www.sustainablewinegrowing.org.