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(St. Helena, California) – In a month that shines the spotlight on environmental stewardship, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) has announced that the Napa Green program has increased the total number of certified acres by 22 percent over the past two years. Currently, there are 32,437 acres certified and another 23,000 enrolled in the program, bringing the total Napa County acreage covered by Napa Green to more than 55,000 acres. Today’s announcement was made as part of NVV’s support of “Down to Earth,” a month-long celebration of the California wine industry’s commitment to sustainability.

Nearly one-third of the total acres planted to vineyards in Napa County are now certified, which points to the continued growth of the Napa Green program, considered by many to be the wine industry’s most rigorous land-use sustainability program. The figures were gathered by Laurel Marcus, executive director of the California Land Stewardship Institute, the independent third-party administrator of the Napa Green program.

NVV also announced that enrollment in the companion Napa Green Winery program grew by 20 percent compared to 2012.

“The continued growth and importance of Napa Green demonstrates the leadership of Napa Valley vintners and growers in setting the environmental gold standard for growing grapes, making wine and sustaining our community,” notes Emma Swain, CEO of St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery. “As a business, we have worked hard for this designation in both our vineyards and our winery and are very proud to let our customers know of the care with which we bring every bottle of Napa Valley wine to their table.”

Modeled on the Fish Friendly Farming program, Napa Green Land is a comprehensive, voluntary program focused on environmentally sound farming methods. The Napa Green Certified Winery program uses the California Green Business Program as its foundation. Both programs meet and exceed more than twenty local, state and federal “best practices.”

Napa Green is part of a forty-plus year continuum of hard-won environmental protections and initiatives that have made Napa Valley an agricultural area unique in the United States, home to the country’s first Agricultural Preserve, and numerous groundbreaking zoning, land-use, and name protection endeavors, including the Winery Definition Ordinance, which intricately defines the agricultural nature of a winery.

“Long before being ‘green’ was ‘in’ the Napa Valley wine industry came together to create some of the most demanding, far-sighted and effective environmental efforts to protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation,” said Linda Reiff, executive director of the Napa Valley Vintners. “We are fully and happily dedicated to this ongoing stewardship.”

About Down to Earth Month

Created by California’s Wine Institute, “Down to Earth Month” is a statewide celebration in April of California’s leadership in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking, featuring practices that are environmentally and socially responsible. This April marks the campaign’s second year.

To learn more about Napa Green, view the “History of Sustainability” video, take an interactive Napa Green quiz, and see the list of Napa Valley wineries hosting special events as part of Down to Earth month, visit www.napagreen.org/about.

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