Two California heavyweights – Ridge and Cakebread Cellars – have joined the International Wineries for Climate Action initiative as applicant members.
Founded in 2019 by Spain’s Familia Torres and California’s Jackson Family Wines, IWCA is dedicated to decarbonising the global wine industry.
“Climate change is real. Ridge has suffered through the impact of extended drought and wildfires. In collaboration with our partners at IWCA we look forward to providing leadership and innovation in the critical process of decarbonising the wine industry,” said Ridge’s president, David Amadia.
“Ridge is well into its initial greenhouse gas emissions survey. We anticipate establishing an audited baseline before the end of October. The audited survey is key to identify the areas of emissions we as a winery will need to address first, and is critical to gaining full membership status with IWCA,” he added.
Ridge is working towards becoming an IWCA Gold member, which requires applicants to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Gold members also need to be at least 20% powered by on-site renewable energy and reduce 25% of CO2 emissions per unit of wine produced.
In 2008, Ridge began the process of certifying its estate vineyards as organically grown. Since then, the total of its organically farmed vines has reached 379 acres, making it the largest grower of organically certified grapes in Sonoma County and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Ridge’s Lytton Springs winery was built in 2008 with straw hay bales, which provide a highly insulating “infill” for the post-and-beam structure.
All of the exterior walls and many of the interior walls of the building are finished with natural earthen plaster, mixed on-site using clay soil from its vineyards, while 400 sola panels provide 75% of the winery’s electricity.
Cakebread Cellars in the Napa Valley has also been welcomed into the IWCA fold.
“Over the next few months, we will be working collaboratively across departments and with the support of our Green Team to complete our first greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory.
“This inventory will assist us in calculating and verifying Cakebread Cellars’ emissions and will serve as our annual guide to continued improvement in sustainability and climate change,” a spokesperson for the estate said.
IWCA members are working towards achieving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to become climate positive (net zero) by 2050.