5 Leaders in Sustainable Wine and Spirits Production

Eco-friendly practices—including organic, biodynamic, and regenerative production—are top of mind for winemakers and distillers around the world. These regions and producers are leading the charge

From left to right: Arbikie, Domaine Bousquet, Far Niente, Lunazul Tequila, and Washington Wine.
From left to right: Arbikie, Domaine Bousquet, Far Niente, Lunazul Tequila, and Washington Wine.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partners, Washington Wine, Domaine Bousquet, Lunazul Tequila, Far Niente Wine Estates, and Arbikie.

As climate change continues to spur unprecedented weather events, sustainability remains top-of-mind for wine and spirits producers around the world. Like any agricultural product, the state of the land, and the planet more broadly, is a key variable in business. Now, each year brings with it new challenges—whether environmental, social, or economic—and a renewed need for business practices that are both responsible and sustainable.  

As consumers increase their awareness of these issues, sustainability has also become an important sales driver. Consumers are seeking out products that meet new standards for environmental and social responsibility, while buyers are increasingly looking to stock brands that are in line with their business values.

For anyone seeking out producers with sustainability at the forefront, these five wine and spirits leaders are important ones to know. From spearheading new waste-management systems to developing science-based certifications, these are the organizations that are pushing sustainability efforts forward.

A group of wine drinkers relax in front of a Washington state vineyard before sunset
Washington Wine’s sustainability program, Sustainable WA, has built statewide standards for sustainable winemaking. Photo courtesy of Washington Wine.

Washington Wine

In Washington State, grape growers have an advantage: in many areas the climate is inhospitable to pests, weeds, and fungal diseases, making it natural to farm sustainably. To highlight this, and show that sustainability is a top priority for the state’s growers, many are committed to taking the next step by obtaining an official sustainability certification. With this in mind, the Washington State Wine Commission, in partnership with Washington Winegrowers Association, Washington Wine Industry Foundation, and Washington Wine Institute, launched Sustainable WA, the first statewide certified sustainability program for wine grapes.

Sustainable WA was built specifically for Washington vineyards by Washington winegrowers, winemakers, and the community as a whole. The science-based program helps growers implement practices that are environmentally sound, socially equitable, and economically viable, three key pillars of sustainability. Growers in the program are also audited by a third party to ensure operations meet established standards. When a wine contains at least 75 percent certified-sustainable grapes, the Sustainable WA logo can be used on labels, highlighting this important element to consumers.

A photo of a very cute sheep in a Domaine Bousquet Vineyard
Domaine Bousquet has long been a leader in organic and regenerative farming practices. Photo courtesy of Domaine Bousquet.

Domaine Bousquet

High in the Andean foothills of Mendoza within the Uco Valley, Domaine Bousquet is not just the largest exporter of organic wine from Argentina, but a leader in sustainable viticulture. With a quarter of a century of organic farming behind them, they were the first winery outside the U.S. to earn the rigorous Regenerative Organic certification in 2022—and only the fourth worldwide. 

They have a program of composting excellence, enhancing soil health with minimal tillage to reduce soil disturbance and encourage natural flora. Cover crops diversify nutrients and increase porosity—which is particularly important in an area as arid as Gualtallary—and this all contributes to carbon sequestration. But these practices also have a positive impact on the wine: “Diversification results in better yeast balance, which in turn has a direct effect on the fruit and means more stable fermentations and less interventions,” says cofounder and CEO Anne Bousquet. “Regenerative organic viticulture improves grape quality without question.” 

Bousquet adds that they pursue certifications, such as their B-Corp status, to ensure they go above and beyond mere legal compliance—especially when it comes to corporate social responsibility. They want to improve standards for their entire team—and, likewise, the industry at large.

A table laid out with cocktail garnishes and stations featuring a bottle of silver Lunazul Tequila.
Lunazul Tequila excels in sustainable practices, and has established a community presence. Photo courtesy of Lunazul Tequila.

Lunazul Tequila

Without the unparalleled land of Tequila in Jalisco, Lunazul Tequila simply would not exist. Here, rich, red clay yields the finest Blue Weber agave, as it has for the 250 years that the Beckmann family—founders of Lunazul—have honed their craft of tequila. This is why Lunazul, under the direction of Tierra de Agaves Distillery, Heaven Hill Brands, and Master Tequilero Francisco Quijano, has invested in their Green Circle program at every part of the tequila production process, going above and beyond accepted sustainability standards.

A state-of-the-art biodigester recycles vinasse, or distillation waste, into water for irrigation; processes agave waste into organic fertilizer for the agave fields; and creates renewable natural gas to power the distillery’s steam boilers. Meanwhile, 1,500 solar panels power 90 percent of distillery operations. Sustainability even extends to the community; Lunazul works with Casa Hogar, a rehabilitation community that creates jobs for people with special needs, to create more than 250,000 clay Cantarito mugs. And the Green Circle impact is big: Lunazul grew by nearly 40 percent in 2023, reaching one million cases sold. In addition to the core Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo, Lunazul released its premium Primero Collection earlier this year.

A closeup of a bottle of Far Niente with some glasses in the foreground.
Far Niente has a particular focus on water conservation. Photo courtesy of Far Niente.

Far Niente 

Since the Nickel family restored the Far Niente Wine Estates property in 1979, they’ve been dedicated to minimizing their environmental impact, especially in light of the growing climate crisis. “In recent years, as we’ve seen significant seasonal variations, we’ve fine-tuned our vineyard farming techniques to ensure a consistent, unparalleled quality year after year,” says John McCarthy, the director of viticulture.

Through robust recycling, composting, and waste management programs, alongside their use of 100 percent renewable energy, both Far Niente Wine Estates and their grower partners boast various sustainability certifications. However, they take particular pride in their commitment to water conservation, recognizing its status as a strained resource. Their actions include: replanting with drought-resistant rootstocks; utilizing processed winery water, tertiary water from the city, and captured runoff to minimize reliance on well water, and employing cutting-edge technologies to measure vine water demand, ensuring precise irrigation practices that preserve grape quality. They have also converted vineyard land into aquifer recharge sites.

“We’re making significant investments through strategic replanting and the modernization of farming practices to safeguard against any challenges Mother Nature may present,” says McCarthy. “Ultimately, it’s about ensuring that every bottle bearing the Far Niente name embodies the pinnacle of quality and craftsmanship.”

A glass of Arbikie liquor held by a hand with the bottle in the background
Arbikie has produced some of the world’s first carbon negative spirits. Photo courtesy of Arbikie.

Arbikie Highland Estate 

Sustainability has been part of Arbikie’s DNA since the beginning, from its farming ethos to the meticulous detail they put into creating their range of field-to-bottle spirits. The distillery itself was built with photovoltaic panels on the roof to utilize green energy, and water is channeled from an underground lagoon. As Scotland’s first single-site, field-to-bottle distillery, Arbikie’s spirits are made from ingredients planted, sown, grown, and harvested within an arm’s length of the distillery. They practice regenerative farming with spent distilling grains used to replenish the soil or fed to their Highland cattle, and production emissions are offset through the Gold Standard carbon offset program. 

Such has been their success that Arbikie spirits have accrued many sustainability accolades and notable firsts. Nàdar gin and vodka were the world’s first carbon negative spirits—meaning they avoid more carbon emissions than they produce—created from their own base spirit made from environmentally-friendly peas. And Tattie Bogle Vodka is Scotland’s first potato vodka made with rejected, wonky potatoes. The team are also looking to the future: by planting oak trees now, future generations will have access to new oak casks for maturing whiskey.

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