SIP Certified turns 10 this year and we could not be more excited to share this milestone with all the farmers and winemakers in the program who are dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural environment, treating their employees and community with care, and have sound business practices with a long-term view.
SIP Certified evolved from the innovative and award winning programs of the Vineyard Team, a local non-profit dedicated to sustainability since 1994. In 1996, the Vineyard Team (developers of SIP Certified) pioneered the innovative and award winning Positive Points System (PPS) – the first self-assessment for vineyards utilizing a whole farm, integrated approach to vineyard management. Since its inception, over 1,000 evaluations representing 60,000 acres were collected. The PPS helped educate and guide hundreds of growers towards adopting practices that protect both human and natural resources.
In 2002, industry leaders discussed the possible shift from self-assessment to third-party certification that would be meaningful, measurable, and verifiable. A year later, technical stakeholders began developing the Standards (farming rules) and the vineyard program piloted in 2008. Because sustainable winemaking does not stop in the vineyard, a program for wineries was piloted in 2016/2017.
It took four years to develop the Standards and over 50 environmental, regulatory, and academic representatives independently reviewed our work.
Launching in 2008 with 3,700 acres, today, over 41,100 acres in California and Michigan are SIP Certified. Two wineries completed the pilot in 2016/2017, with more in process for 2018. The program has a 90% retention rate – this significant growth means that more vineyards and wineries meet a strict threshold for environmental and human resource protection that positively impacts more acres, wineries, neighborhoods, and natural resources each year. SIP Certified helps eco-consumers shop their values by allowing the SIP Certified seal on a bottle of wine made with at least 85% certified fruit. With over 2.6 million cases in the international market, there are sustainable wines for every palate and price point.
Cheers to 10 years and thank you to every SIP Certified farmer and winemaker for their work to address sustainable practices on every level, from labor to agriculture – from energy conservation to water quality.
Download the 10 year anniversary logo (password sipcert). Use #SIPturns10.
2008 Pilot Growers
- Ampelos Cellars
- Castoro Cellars
- Halter Ranch
- Hilliard Bruce
- Jackson Family Wines
- Laetitia Vineyard & Winery
- Niven Family Wines (Paragon and Firepeak Vineyards)
- Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery
- Smith Family Wines
- Wolff Vineyards
2016/2017 Pilot Wineries