wine-countryIn an effort to raise awareness of California’s leadership role in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking, the Wine Institute has created Down to Earth Month, a nod to all things green in the industry.

The eco-friendly fun lasts all month with dozens of sustainability-focused events and activities to enjoy.

The Wine Institute is an association of 1,000 California wineries and businesses affiliated with wines. The concept behind the fourth annual Down to Earth Month is to engage consumers and policy makers with festivities such as festivals, organic wine trails, eco-tours and dog-friendly vineyard hikes, among other events.

“It gives us the opportunity to celebrate and share the successes of our California Sustainable Winegrowing Program,” says Bobby Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute. “It helps consumers and policy leaders understand our commitment to the environment.”

Festivies and events are planned up and down the state.

Mendocino County wineries are joining the Party for the Planet 2014 on April 17–26. Visitors can see gardening demos, hear some great music, sample organic food and wine and get some great lodging specials.

All month in Sonoma County, the Green Trail of Dry Creek Valley will offer a customized experience exploring certified organic and biodynamic wineries. The Celebrate Earth Day in Downtown Napa on April 25 highlights the Valley vintners’ commitment to having all its eligible members certified Napa Green by 2020.

Paso Robles on the central coast will celebrate the region’s sustainable food and wine culture with the Central Coast Earth Day Food & Wine Weekend on April 17-19.

In the Bay Area, the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Passport Day offers eco-friendly barrel samples on April 18 and Livermore Valley wineries are offering tours and tastings on April 18 and 19.

Explore all of the activities at

For more on sustainable and bio-dynamic wine growing and making, see Smart Meetings’ March issue, or go to