Unraveling the Meaning of Sustainability in Oregon, by Penny Sadler

Guest Article by Penny Sadler, Adventures of a Carry-On

Oregon is synonymous with sustainability. Over 100 years ago, the Oregon state legislature enacted the first environmental protection law prohibiting pollution of waters used for domestic or livestock purposes. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the state of Oregon passed bill after bill, designed to protect the land and environment now, and for future generations.

In this culture of sustainability the Oregon wine business was born and Oregon winemakers have embraced a commitment to stewardship of the land from the beginning.

Oregon’s perfect combination of climate and soil types makes it easy to grow grapes without pesticides or, with minimal intervention. Combine that with the fact that 70% of the wine produced in Oregon is made by small, family-owned wineries producing 5000 cases or less per year, and you have the ideal situation for community collaboration and commitment to environmentally friendly farming practices. It’s no surprise that Oregon leads with the highest number of sustainable, organic, and biodynamic certified wineries in the US.

Sustainability doesn’t stop in the vineyards. It’s also about making good business decisions for the right reasons; once again, Oregon leads the way with eight B-Corp wineries, more than any other state in the US. In fact, there are twelve B Corp wineries in the US and 2/3 of them are in Oregon.

You can read more about sustainable wine production, including the various certifications currently recognized in Oregon, in this article written by Penny Sadler for The Vintner Project.

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