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January 23, 2013 | 8:30 AM

The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) sent out a press release announcing some important achievements:

1. It has issued its 2012 Progress Report; for a copy, go to www.sustainablewinegrowing.org.

2. This report highlights the third edition of the California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Workbook, updated CSWA program participation numbers, and an overview of a new Performance Metrics tool measuring vineyard and winery use of water, energy and applied nitrogen, and greenhouse gas emissions related to energy use.

Since 2002, CSWA's Code Workbook has been used by 1,800 vineyard and winery organizations to self-assess their operations, representing 72 percent of California's winegrape acreage (389,375 acres) and 74 percent of its case production (189 million cases). In addition, CSWA has held 232 educational workshops attended by 10,737 participants.

Said Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, president and CEO of Wine Institute:

"Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers published the Code and established CSWA to position California's wine community as a world leader in sustainability. With more than 70 percent of California's winegrape acreage and case production engaged in the CSWA program, the industry has bolstered its environmental and sustainability credentials in the public policy and marketplace arenas, including the competitive global market. The scale of this accomplishment is remarkable, as California is the world's fourth largest wine producer."

Added John Aguirre, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers:

"A tremendous amount of thought, time and effort went into revising the Code Workbook. CSWA involved 50 growers and vintners in 35 meetings over two years to review and revise the workbook. As a result, vineyards and wineries of all sizes throughout the state will find the workbook's updated and revised best practices and resources even more relevant and effective."

The workbook has 14 chapters encompassing best practices from the grape to glass: viticulture, soil management, vineyard water management, pest management, wine quality, ecosystem management, energy efficiency, winery water conservation and quality, material handling, solid waste reduction and management, environmentally preferable purchasing, human resources, neighbors and community and air quality.

Code Workbooks will be provided at no charge to California vintners and growers who attend upcoming workshops listed at www.sustainablewinegrowing.org/workshopcalendar.php. A copy can also be requested from CSWA at www.sustainablewinegrowing.org or info@sustainablewinegrowing.org.

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