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by Patricia Roth | December 19, 2012 | 7:47 AM

Have you checked out the website for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance lately? If not, it's worth a visit. 

There is a new online performance metrics tool to help growers and vintners measure, track and improve the efficiency of their resources: energy, water and nutrients. According to CSWA:

Knowing and understanding the relationship between vineyard and winery practices and measured outcomes is important for benchmarking and managing performance to optimize business operations, decrease costs, and conserve natural resources.

Also, the 3rd Edition of the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing will be available in January.

As CSWA points out, the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices Self-Assessment Workbook is the foundation of the program and a tool for participants to measure their level of sustainability and to learn about ways they can improve their practices.

Former CSWA chairman Randy Lange of Lange Twins, Inc., describes its benefits:

"The sustainable workbook, offered by CSWA, allows the winegrower or winemaker the opportunity to compare their operating practices to a standard, identify where changes can be accomplished and develop a sustainable work plan for improvement. Self assessment, the ability to identify those improvements and at what cost, is an important step in sustainable winegrowing goals, benefiting all wine country communities."

The online web resources provide papers on best management practices, covering an array of subjects. Keep checking back for updates. 

And a video series highlights case studies on energy efficiency and other sustainable winegrowing practices. Topics to date include efficient refrigeration, pipe insulation, aerator systems and variable frequency drives for pumps and planning and building an energy-efficient winery. The most recent video demonstrates irrigation efficiency at Gallo Vineyards:

 

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