California Green Medal

2015 CA Green Medal


2015 Green Medal Winners
Accepting the 2015 California Green Medal Awards: (L-R) Cindy DeVries for Fetzer Vineyards, Bob Torres for Trinchero Family Estates, Julie Nord for Nord Vineyards and Mike Benziger for Benziger Family Winery

Given to the vineyard or winery that excels in the three “Es” of sustainability — Environmentally sound, socially Equitable and Economically viable practices.


As a true pioneer in sustainability in the wine industry, Fetzer Vineyards has been blazing a trail for earth-friendly practices since 1968. Fetzer Vineyards was the first winery in California to operate on 100% renewable energy in 1999, and is the largest U.S. producer of organic winegrapes certified by CCOF and the first Zero Waste certified wine company in the world. Energy, water, waste, vineyard inputs, packaging, recycling, and many other metrics have been measured at Fetzer since its early history. The company has a full-time sustainability manager and an eco-team made up of employees in all departments who work together to integrate sustainability innovations and activities.


Given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Environmental Stewardship through maximized environmental benefits from implementing sustainable practices.

With all of its estate properties Demeter Certified Biodynamic, this family winery created “Farming for Flavors,” which was third-party certified by Stellar in 2007 before other sustainability certifications were available. Benziger also had the first Biodynamic wine in Sonoma County. The winery holds annual “Hot Topic” seminars for growers that focus on water conservation, reduction in inputs, biodiversity, soil biology, composting and efficient use of equipment. Over the past two years, Benziger has focused on using technology and industry experts to learn more about practices that guarantee the most efficient use of resources.


Given to the vineyard or winery that is a Good Neighbor and Employer using the most innovative practices that enhance relations with employees, neighbors, and/or communities.

With 400 acres of family partnership vineyards at 10 locations throughout Napa Valley, Nord Vineyards recognizes that the long-term viability of the vineyards requires sustainable business and farming practices. Nord frequently invites professionals and the public to its vineyards, including hosting hundreds of neighbors as part of Napa Grapegrowers’ and Napa Valley Vintners’ “Afternoon in the Vineyards.” Nord Vineyard Services‘ owners and employees are active in the industry and in their community by serving on numerous boards, committees and task forces. They also participate in research experiments and extension of new technologies and techniques.

Given to the vineyard or winery that best demonstrates Smart Business through efficiencies, cost savings and innovation from implementing sustainable practices.


Committed to environmental stewardship, charitable giving and responsibility, Trinchero Family Estates is being recognized for efficient and innovative sustainability practices that serve as a model for the wine industry. Vineyards are managed to balance desired quality, necessary inputs and water use, while wineries strive to minimize water, waste and energy use in both their Napa and Lodi facilities. Trinchero also focuses on sustainable packaging – such as light-weighted bottles and recycled glass as well as alternative packaging such as Tetra Pak and 100% recyclable and lightweight PET mini bottles. The expansion of the company’s Lodi facility with state-of-the-art bottling and warehousing means being closer to the majority of its grape supply, reducing the associated truck miles and emissions.



  • Cyril Penn, Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly
  • Beth Vukmanic, Executive Director, Vineyard Team
  • Rhonda Smitt, UCCE
  • Ann Thrupp, Executive Director,  Berkeley Food Institute
  • Granoff Peter, Master Sommelier, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
  • Matthew Hoffman, Director, Lodi Winegrape Commission
  • Steve Lederer, Director, Napa County Green Business Program