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A Sustainable Family Business at Riverbench Vineyard & Winery

June 30, 2017

Riverbench Vineyard was established in 1973, when the first Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes were planted on the bank of the Sisquoc River, known as the Santa Maria Bench. For decades since then, some of the most renowned wineries have purchased fruit from Riverbench Vineyard & Winery for their wines. In 2004, they began producing their own wines in limited quantities, with many available exclusively through the tasting rooms in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara, California.

We recently spoke with Laura Booras, General Manager at Riverbench about their long standing commitment to sustainable farming.

SIP Certified: Where do you use the SIP Certified seal?

We use the SIP seal in our tasting room windows, on our sell sheets, on our tasting notes, and on the back labels of our wines.

SIP Certified: Do you talk about your sustainable practices in your marketing materials and/or on your website?

Yes we do! It has a section on our website and we often mention it in our Facebook and Instagram posts in real time.

SIP Certified: How do you incorporate sustainability into your company culture and training?

It’s a huge part of our training program, even for part time staff in the tasting rooms. We do monthly quizzes for the team, and there is always a sustainability question in that. Additionally, we make a point to cover it frequently at staff meetings. It’s important here for obvious reasons: a family business wants to leave things in the best shape for the next generations, so it makes sense to take care of our people, natural resources, land, and community the best we can.

SIP Certified: Has your sustainable certification given you opportunities or advantages in the market?

Yes, often when I work with sales reps it is a talking point. The more consumers know about sustainable agriculture programs, the more they’re seeking it out. I used to mention it and get blank looks; now people know what it means much more often.

Here are some examples of how Riverbench Vineyard & Winery uses the SIP Certified seal:

Riverbench wine detail sheet.

Using Instagram’s multi-photo posts to highlight sustainable practices in the vineyard.