Being a responsible planet resident

Judith Papesh
Wine Education grey Dot History of Wine grey Dot

What to look for to find responsible and sustainable wines


Wine has been part of the human experience for centuries, first as a calorie source for survival and now as part of the enjoyment of everyday life. As the world changes and evolves, it is now more important than ever for wine growers to move toward more responsible and sustainable production practices.

Wine is an agricultural business, and the environmental responsibilities of wine growers and winemakers are more important than ever. As the effects of climate change become more extreme, wineries have worked to reduce their impact agriculturally in several ways, including:

  1. Reducing the use of pesticides and agricultural chemicals
  2. Using sustainable practices such as integrated pest management
  3. Planting row crops to manage soil nitrogen
  4. Returning spent pomace to the vineyards

Sustainable practices

Sustainable practices effectively acknowledge, respect, and preserve terroir with more sensible site development, efficient water usage, and varietal suitability. These practices extend to the winery with limited intervention and low sulfur winemaking, often using native yeasts.

While sustainability is a global initiative, we will look at seven programs focused in the United States, especially the western states of Washington, California, and Oregon.

Look for these certifications in wine information

Live Certified Sustainable logo

Live Certified Sustainable

Used throughout the Pacific NW, focuses on providing high-quality fruits while promoting responsible and sustainable farming with biodiversity on the farm, minimizing or eliminating synthetic chemicals and fertilizer, and providing worker protections with benefits and health and safety.


Salmon Safe logo

Salmon Safe

Pacific Northwest program to minimize water use and practice soil conservation to help protect stream banks and waterways for salmon habitat.


Oregon Tilth logo

Oregon Tilth Certifications

With the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) National Organic Program regulations- certifies organic produce and agricultural products meet consistent standards. Standards include organic seeds and plant stock requirements, soil and water conservation programs, wetland conservation, wildlife, and woodlands.


Deep Roots Coalition logo

Deep Roots

A Willamette Valley program that supports water conservation in the belief that non-irrigated vineyards produce more authentic wines.



Oregon Oak Accord, Willamette Partnership logoOregon Oak Accord

Agricultural and conservation practices that help protect threatened White Oak in Oregon.


Demeter Certified Biodynamic logoDemeter Certified Biodynamic

Biological farming practices were first implemented in the 1920s and expanded in the 1950s with the explicit goal to ” heal the planet through agriculture.”  Biodynamic practices forbid synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and require preparations using composted animal manure, minerals, and medicinal plants.


Certified B Corporation logo

Certified B Corporation — International

Uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.



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About Judith Papesh

Retired Winemaker, Winemaking Consultant, and Washington State Licensed Geologist. Bourgogne Master Level Certification, French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar Certifications

In the first class to complete Washington State University (WSU) Extension Enology Certification, Judith opened her winery, crafting wines that garnered local and international acclaim before turning her attention to studying and educating about the world's wines. "Winemaking is very much an art as well as a science; it is a consuming passion that drives you during the day, keeps you up at night, and when the wine is right, simply leaves you breathless."