Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles, California, has become the first winery to achieve Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified. The program has certified vineyards since 2008, and expanded its independent, third-party verification scope to include wineries in 2015.
The winery certification process rigorously reviews a number of factors, including energy efficiency, water use, glass and paper recycling, and even materials used in packaging and collateral marketing materials. As with the vineyard certification, the elements of social equity and financial sustainability are also taken into account.
“We’re thrilled that Niner Wine Estates has become our first SIP Certified Winery,” said Beth Vukmanic Lopez, Certification Manager. “They were already strong supporters of the vineyard program, and have always made an effort to translate sustainability into their winemaking practices.”
“When (SIP Certified) approached us with their winery certification program we were honored to work with them,” said Andy Niner, President of Niner Wine Estates. “Winery processing is an equally important part of winemaking where sustainability (and validation of sustainability) is important.”
As a SIP Certified Vineyard and Winery, Niner Wine Estates will be able to use the SIP Certified seal in marketing and promotion efforts. It is a tool that consumers can use in making their buying decisions.
“The problem we are faced with in the wine industry is that there are many brands speaking about sustainability. Sustainability is complex; it is very hard for consumers to figure out what sustainability means and to validate that there is substance behind the words,” Niner said. “We feel that SIP Certified does a very valuable service in solving this problem for the consumers (because it’s) a credible third-party verification with a rigorous, comprehensive, rules-based approach.”
Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certified provides a way for vineyards and wineries statewide to verify their attention to sustainability through a commitment to environmental stewardship, equitable treatment of employees, and economic viability. Developed by the Vineyard Team, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to sustainable winegrowing since 1994, this program represents one extension of the group’s many innovative programs. To learn more about SIP, please visit the website www.sipcertified.org. For more information about Vineyard Team, please visit www.vineyardteam.org.