Earth Week celebration: green wine

If raising a glass is part of your Earth Week celebration plans, you have many options for wines that leave a lighter footprint. But what’s the difference between biodynamic and organic? What exactly is a “sustainable wine?” And how do you know that any of the eco-friendly claims made by wineries are substantive?

In both California and Oregon, certification systems are now in place to assure consumers that wines live up to any green claims.  The Oregon Wine Board’s Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) establishes three criteria for certification: environmentally-responsible agricultural practices, responsible production processes, and verification by a third party. In California, a number of local and regional certification programs exist, including Napa Green Land and Green Winery, Lodi Rules, and Sustainability in Practice.

Still not sure about some of those terms, though? has a great set of resources on sustainable, organic, and biodynamic wines. (Note: you’ll want to view this site in Internet Explorer)

How do you choose your “green” wines?  Let us know in the comments…

Image credit: jesiehart at Flickr under a Creative Commons license