American Viticultural Area (AVA): a federally-recognized winegrape growing region in the United States based on distinguishing features of geography, climate, soil, history or some combination of them.
Balanced vine: a vine is considered in balance when vine shoot growth provides enough leaf area to ripen the crop properly to meet a grower or vintner’s desired goals for grape development.
Beneficial insects: insects that prey on other insects and classified into two general categories: predators, which chase and kill the prey; and parasites or parasitoids, which live off their host without necessarily killing it.
Biodiversity: a variety of plant and animal life.
Biodynamic winegrowing: biodynamic farming treats the vineyard as a closed system, employing organic practices and natural alternatives for eliminating waste and promoting a healthy ecosystem.
California Code of Sustainable Winegrowing: a self-assessment tool available for California winegrape growers and vintners that is used to assess their sustainability practices in vineyards and wineries and with communities/employees and to learn about new practices. It also serves as the basis for Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, a third-party verification option.
Carbon footprint: the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an operation, organization or person.
Cover crop: a crop planted between the rows of vines to manage soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife.
Cultural controls: controlling a pest using physical means (e.g., leaf removal to increase air circulation in the grape canopy to reduce the incidence of bunch rot or the creation of dust to limit mite problems).
Compost: the organic matter products resulting from the biological decomposition of raw organic matter, such as plant or animal material. Well-made compost is more concentrated than manure, and is weed-and disease-free.
Economic threshold: the level of a pest population above which, if a control action is not taken, the value of crop damage will exceed the cost of treatment.
Energy audit: an assessment of the energy needs and the efficiency of a building or operation.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: a process for selecting products or services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM): a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks. IPM is not a technique or a recipe, but rather an approach to identifying and solving pest problems. The control techniques used may vary by grower, crop, field and year, but the overall management approach remains constant.
Organic matter: material that was produced by plants but is now dead.
Organic winegrowing: an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles, and soil biological activity and is used to produce fruit and wine in accordance with regulations of the National Organic Program.
Process water pond: a pond used to treat and clean water used by the winery.
Riparian area: those portions of the watershed that border the bank of a river, stream, or creek.
Soil erosion: the movement of soil off of the vineyard.
Sustainable winegrowing: a comprehensive set of environmentally sound, socially responsible, and economically viable best practices that encompass every aspect of the vineyard, winery, surrounding habitat and ecosystem, employees, and community.
Three “E’s” of sustainability: economically viable, socially equitable, and environmentally sound.