Robert Parker Wine Advocate has awarded the Green Emblem to 40 wineries, across seven countries, for the breadth and depth of their sustainable practices that stand out in their fields.
In the United States, there are nine wineries in the selection. Four joined the list in 2022.
In 2021, Robert Parker Wine Advocate launched the Green Emblem as it became the first wine-review publication to empower wine lovers seeking sustainable wines. Its website rolled out tools such as search filters for Organic and Biodynamic certified wines – plus the Green Emblem designation, given to select wineries that demonstrate extraordinary environmentally friendly practices.
“With increasing demand from passionate consumers for wines that are made more sustainably, our Green Emblem initiative aims at highlighting winemakers who have demonstrated extraordinary efforts in practicing environmentally friendly viticulture in the face of evolving climate challenges,” said Joe Czerwinski, editor-in-chief of Robert Parker Wine Advocate. “The ambition of our approach is to amplify and highlight sustainable practices in wineries by putting them in the spotlight.”
The Green Emblem
To qualify for the award, a winery may or may not already be organic and/or biodynamic certified. Beyond or apart from certification, the producer must be an outstanding proponent of sustainability who looks toward long-term environmental protection and biodiversity.
Each year, Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviewers nominate new candidates from their regions that are worthy of the Robert Parker Green Emblem. Once a winery is recognized, all of their wines will carry the Robert Parker Green Emblem going forward, until changes at the winery may result in the recognition being rescinded.
The four U.S. wineries joining the list are Brick House, Hedges Family Estate, Raen and Tablas Creek Vineyard. Here are excerpts from the RPWA reviews:
Brick House (Newberg, Oregon)
- Doug Tunnell and his family have crafted organic and biodynamically farmed wines for more than three decades. He planted vines in 1990 and had them certified organic that same year. In 2005, the vineyards were certified biodynamic, and even the Brick House winery is certified organic — an extra step most wineries do not undergo during the certification process.
- As one of the first biodynamic wineries to achieve fame in the U.S., Brick House has become synonymous with the term — each bottle is emblazoned with the words “Made with Biodynamic grapes” and is instantly recognizable.
Hedges Family Estate (Benton City, Washington)
- In 2008, the initial 50-acre estate was converted to biodynamic farming and has since been Demeter certified. As the family purchased surrounding properties, that land also was prepped and farmed biodynamically. Hedges Family Estate continues to be a leader in biodynamic farming and has earned the nickname “Guardians of Red Mountain.”
- Most of the vineyards are already certified biodynamic, and the remainder of the vineyards are in the final stages of biodynamic certification.
- Beyond thoughtful environmental farming practices, Hedges Family Estate believes in philanthropy and contributes approximately 10% of their net profits to charitable causes and nonprofit organizations.
Raen (Sebastopol, California)
- Vineyards are farmed using organic and biodynamic methods, and recently a full-time viticulturist was hired.
- Carlo (Mondavi) has become a leading voice for sustainable, organic and regenerative farming practices in California and beyond. As the Mondavi family celebrates 100 years of viticulture, he uses his platform to speak openly, and urgently, about the threat of climate change.
- The Monarch tractor is the first fully electric, driver-optional smart tractor, developed by a team of farmers, experts and engineers.
- The Monarch tractor debuted in Raen’s Royal St. Robert and Bodega vineyards in 2021. What is most compelling about this project is that it answers perhaps the most critical question facing the world today: How can we make sustainable farming economically superior to conventional farming?
Tablas Creek Vineyard (Paso Robles, California)
- Tablas Creek received organic certification in 2003 and biodynamic certification in 2017, although they have farmed organically since the mid-1990s and biodynamically since 2010.
- In 2019, second-generation proprietor Jason Haas was approached by the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) to participate in a pilot program for their new certification, Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC), based on three pillars: soil health, animal welfare and social welfare.
- Properties seeking the ROC designation must be certified organic and actively engaged in building soil health, the core philosophy of regenerative farming.
- ROC ensures that farmworkers are informed of their rights as workers; are paid a living wage whether they are employed or working as subcontractors; and that working conditions are clean and safe.
Look for the sustainability filters/symbols and the Green Emblem award when accessing thousands of wine reviews at www.RobertParker.com.
The Robert Parker Green Emblem List
Following an exciting inaugural list in 2021 that included luminaries such as Domaine Leroy in France, Ridge Vineyards in the U.S. and Cullen Wines in Australia, a new crop of 16 wineries has merited their entry on the list.