Winners Announced for Third Annual California Green Medal:
Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards

Green Medal Winners 2015

Accepting the 2017 California Green Medal Awards: (L-R) Steve McIntyre of Monterey Pacific, Inc.; Aron Weinkauf of Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery; Rhonda Hood of Francis Ford Coppola Winery; and Robert Aldridge of St. Francis Winery & Vineyard

(see the full press release)

leaderFrancis Ford Coppola Winery
based in Geyserville in Sonoma County, demonstrates admirable leadership in all areas of sustainability. Last year the winery made a firm commitment to source 100% sustainably certified grapes by 2019, while providing technical and financial assistance to growers to help them achieve certification. Within the company, employees receive sustainability training opportunities and generate ideas on how the company can take the most sustainable approach to address water and energy usage and waste management among other activities. To spearhead these efforts, a volunteer Green Team comprised of employees is active throughout the vineyard and winery operations to implement ideas, identify areas of improvement and seek opportunities to innovate under the guidance of the company’s five-year sustainability plan.

Green Medal for Environmental Stewardship
Spottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery

based in St. Helena in Napa Valley, has been a pioneer in green leadership for over 30 years, transitioning its historic estate to organic farming in 1985 and earning organic certification in 1992, one of two organic vineyards in Napa Valley at the time. Spottswoode helped cultivate the idea that going green leads to superior quality. In addition to organic farming, Spottswoode’s commitment to environmental stewardship is reflected in its biodynamic practices, almost exclusive use of solar power, preservation and conservation efforts, and its philanthropy practice of donating 1% of annual profits to environmental organizations.


St. Francis Winery & Vineyards,
based in Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, operates under the belief that good neighbors help each other and that employees are part of the success of sustainability. The winery offers a comprehensive benefits package and annual health and wellness screenings. Actions like these led to recognition in regional “best places to work” awards for the past six years. Local outreach is also part of their good neighbor ethos, exemplified by funding an annual day of service for employees to work at local non-profits. Understanding the importance of education, St. Francis shares a strong message of sustainability with the public through informative vineyard tours and offers technical and financial assistance to local grape growers for sustainability certification and education.


Monterey Pacific, Inc.
with vineyards throughout California’s Central Coast takes the most efficient parts of organic, biodynamic and sustainable farming and creates a successful, economically and environmentally sound management style for growing grapes. Their commitment is reflected in virtually no employee turnover, providing continuing education benefits, and offering dual language programs for improvement of overall communication. In 2016, Monterey Pacific certified 6,000 acres to SIP Certified or Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing with a commitment to certify the remaining managed acreage this year. Understanding that vineyard management involves more than just land, but also people and sound business practices, the company has remained steadfast in its commitment to sustainability since its inception.


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Judging Panel for 2017 Awards

  • Stephanie Bolton, Sustainable Winegrowing Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission
  • Emily Farrant, Sustainability, Sonoma County Winegrowers
  • David Glancy, Master Sommelier, San Francisco Wine School
  • Lindsey M. Higgins, Assistant Professor in the Agribusiness Department, Cal Poly State University
  • Allison Jordan, Executive Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
  • Michelle Novi, Industry Relations Manager, Napa Valley Vintners
  • Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly
  • Kate Piontek, Vice President of Operations, Sonoma County
  • Beth Vukmanic Lopez, SIP Certification Manager, The Vineyard Team