How Sustainable Farming With LODI RULES Translates To Loveable Wines

PRESENTED BY How Sustainable Farming With LODI RULES Translates To Loveable Wines

Lodi, California is one of those rare places that lives up to its slogan: “Livable, lovable Lodi.”

Located 40 miles south of California’s capital city of Sacramento, Lodi has been a historic winemaking region since the 1850s. Boasting a Mediterranean climate, Lodi produces more than 30 percent of premium Zinfandel in the state, among 125 other white and red varieties, making it the most diverse wine-growing appellation in the country. With warm days and chilly nights, a tight knit and welcoming community, and barrels of delicious, high-quality and fruit-focused wine, Lodi is especially “lovable” to wine aficionados. The region’s commitment to the environment ensures it remains “liveable” for generations to come.

Shortly after the region was recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1986, its winegrowers came together with leading environmentalists and scientists to form the country’s original sustainable winegrowing program — LODI RULES. Now in its fourth edition, the program promotes the adoption of more than 150 sustainable practices over six categories: business, human resources, soil, water, ecosystem, and pest management.

With over 32,000 certified sustainable acres in Lodi and more than 36,000 certified sustainable acres in neighboring California regions plus 700 acres in Israel and 259 acres in Washington state, Lodi – and it’s Rules – are leading the way for environmentally-conscious and socially responsible wine growing.

Click below on our interactive guide to learn more about Lodi Rules and how the program’s management practices help ensure better, more loveable wines for us all.

Water Management

For this increasingly delicate resource, farming operations are evaluated on how they manage irrigation for the vines and the property, the quality of the water, backflow prevention, and soil moisture content, among others.

Certified Green Seal

The green seal signifies a commitment to scientifically sound sustainable winegrowing. A vineyard can earn this seal by passing a rigorous third-party audit. A wine sourced from these vineyards can as well. Currently, you can find the green seal on over 200 wines across the globe.

Business Management

Does the farming operation have a vision plan? Have they identified a sustainable operating budget and how will they mitigate risk? Do they recycle? Are they tracking energy? Do they maintain relationships with their neighbors? These factors and more go into the evaluation of a LODI RULES-certified business management plan.

Human Resources Management

Under LODI RULES, a farming operation’s social responsibility is just as critical as its environmental responsibility. Safety training, team-building activities, ongoing employee education, and benefits offered are just a few considerations taken into account for those applying to receive the green seal.

Ecosystem Management

A vineyard can have a monumental impact on the surrounding environment. Farming operations following LODI RULES must develop an ecosystem management plan and are further assessed by watershed stewardship as well as the presence and vitality of the flora and fauna on the property, including birds and bats, cover crops, and others. Farmers are encouraged not only to maintain biodiversity, but enhance it.

Soil Management

The health of the soil is integral to both the quality of the grapes and the longevity of the vineyard. Certified operations must implement a nutrient management program while addressing tillage, mapping and analysis, erosion, and organic matter, as well as water penetration. Learn how some farmers use sheep for weed management.

Pest Management

Pests come in all shapes and sizes on a vineyard. Rather than utilize certain pesticides, farming operations must use an integrated system that includes monitoring and prevention as well as elimination by natural predators, thus minimizing risks to birds, bees, fish, small mammals, workers and consumers.