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O'Neill Vintners & Distillers Honored with Wine Institute's California Green Medal Leader Award

LARKSPUR, Calif. -- June 30, 2021 -- As announced by the Wine Institute today, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers is the proud recipient of the Seventh Annual Sustainable Winegrowing California Green Medal Leader Award. This accolade is given to wineries and vineyards that demonstrate excellence in leadership and a commitment to sustainability. O’Neill Vintners & Distillers aims to lead, not only in grape and wine quality, but also in sustainable and socially responsible initiatives that generate measurable results. They believe sustainability is the ultimate expression of their commitment to people, planet and profit.

“We are thrilled to be presented with this award and honor from the Wine Institute,” said Jeff O’Neill, owner of O’Neill Vintners & Distillers. “As a privately-owned company, we have the autonomy to invest in the future, listen to what consumers expect of us, and harness the energy of our 300 dedicated employees to carry out this critical mission. Congratulations to the O’Neill team and to the other award winners this year.” 

O’Neill’s sustainability efforts instill the importance of green initiatives and environmental justice. These are ongoing to minimize waste, reduce their carbon footprint, and protect the environment. In 2020, O’Neill installed BioFiltro’s largest worm powered winery wastewater system in the world at its Parlier winery facility, capable of filtering more than one million gallons of wastewater per day. They also launched a regenerative viticulture study at O’Neill-owned Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles, a three-year comparative research program led by Caine Thompson, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers’ Sustainability Lead. The study will enhance biodiversity and minimize environmental impact while informing regenerative farming practices and carbon sequestration that others can replicate. 

O'Neill's commitment also includes employee and community wellbeing, reinforced by the diversity and inclusion statement further promoting their mission of hiring and maintaining a diverse workforce. This mission extends to the wine industry at large and supports the future development of a diverse workforce with two four-year college room and board Charles Woodson & O’Neill Family Scholarships and internship opportunities to advance BIPOC representation.

In addition, O’Neill is also working with the larger agricultural community by supporting more than 200 California grape growers under contract — which are responsible for 15,000 planted acres — to become sustainably certified. The goal is to source 100% sustainably farmed fruit by the end of 2022, and O’Neill is 85% there. 

“Our work doesn’t end with this recognition,” said Jeff O’Neill. “It is just getting started.” 

The Green Medal Leader Award is in an elite class of recognition and is given to the vineyard or winery that excels in the three “E’s” of sustainability. The Wine Institute issued awards in four categories this year: Leader, Environment, Community and Business. Learn about the 2021 winners and their efforts in sustainability at greenmedal.org/2021-green-medal-award-winners/.  

More information about the Wine Institute and Seventh Annual California Green Medal Awards can be found at www.greenmedal.org.

About O’Neill Vintners & Distillers

O'Neill Vintners & Distillers was founded in 2004 by industry veteran and entrepreneur Jeff O'Neill. The vertically integrated winery is one of the fastest-growing wineries in California with a reputation for producing premium-quality wines from the North Coast, Central Coast, and Central Valley. The company’s national brands portfolio includes Line 39, Robert Hall, Harken, Day Owl Rosé, Game Box, Rabble and Charles Woodson’s Intercept. For more information, please visit www.ONeillWine.com.

About Wine Institute

Wine Institute is the public policy advocacy group for 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses that initiates and advocates state, federal and international public policy to enhance the environment for the responsible production, consumption and enjoyment of wine. The organization works to promote the economic and environmental health of the state through its leadership in sustainable winegrowing and a partnership with the Visit California tourism organization to showcase California’s wine and food offerings and the state as a top travel destination. Wine Institute also has an export program for California Wines which represents 95 percent of U.S. wine exports.


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