Research proves consumers care about the social impact of their purchases, but how do wineries share their commitments and efforts in a space as small as a wine label? This place is often cluttered with obligatory text, creative iconography, tasting notes, vineyard details, and anything else that can fit into that little rectangle.
One way wineries can brag about their track record is by getting certifications. These often come with the use of a stamp which will indicate that the bottle was made under the promised conditions. One of the most dynamic commitments is to become a B Corporation (or B Corp).
“B-certified companies are companies that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose,” according to the organization’s website. There are over 4,000 of these companies in 77 countries around the world.
Certified B Corps are individually quantified by a B Lab B Impact Assessment (BIA) score which must be recertified every three years, achieving a verified score of 80 points to maintain B Corporation status.
Wineries that choose to become B Corp are often based on a commitment to using low impact farming methods and stewardship of resources. They are dedicated to the fair and responsible treatment of the workforce, the community and the natural environment. Here is a sampling of B Corporation wineries, but by no means an exhaustive list. To learn more about these organizations, visit B Corporation searchable directory.
Sokol Blosser – Oregon, United States
This summer, Sokol Blosser, a family-run organic winery in the Willamette Valley of Oregon was honored 2021 Best for the world: environment. This is the third time that the cellar has won this achievement.
In a press release, Alison Sokol Blosser, President and CEO, said: “Since our beginnings 50 years ago, we have worked every day to do the right thing for the environment, our team, our community. and the long-term health of our family. These are habits for us now. We are extremely proud of this recognition. Sokol Blosser is surrounded by peers in Oregon, with the largest network of B Corps in the United States.
Chateau Maris – Languedoc, France
All over the world in the south of France, Château Maris is the first European vineyard to obtain B Corporation certification. Founder Robert Eden began transforming his estate into Minervois La Livinière AOC, located between Toulouse and Montpellier, in the 1990s, starting with a conversion to biodynamics.
Eden chose to build the cellar with hemp bricks, which eliminate the heat. Hemp was cultivated near Toulouse, and is grown without chemicals or irrigation. Château Maris also received Best for the world: environment in 2017 and 2018.
Symington Family Estates – Northern Portugal
Symington Family Estates, one of northern Portugal‘s most established port and wine producers, has been in business for five generations. It became a B Corporation in 2019 in order to “systematically improve the impact we have on the environment and our communities over the next few years”.
The key points for the organization are responsible governance, a prosperous workforce, impact on the community, protection of biodiversity, adaptation to climate change, reduction of CO2, efficiency of the ‘water, low impact buildings, sustainable packaging and waste management. Symington has the largest area of organic vineyards in northern Portugal.
Bainbridge Vineyards – Washington, United States
From the AVA in Puget Sound, Wash., Bainbridge Vineyards produces 1,200 cases annually from its certified organic vineyards. The cellar won 2021 Best for the world: environment. It is located on 15 organic acres on Bainbridge Island, part of a 40-acre protected property cultivated by a collective of local farmers. The vineyard is a certified wildlife reserve and is home to a rich biodiversity.
In this cooperative organization led by women, owner Betsey Wittick fulfills the winegrower role of winegrower and winegrower. “To honor this rare privilege, we believe in a ‘complete systems’ approach,” says Wittick. “From our human-powered draft horses and fieldwork, to the people we employ and the communities around us, our wine is a true reflection of the land and the people who manage it. “
Fetzer – Hopland, CA
Fetzer is a leader in the wine industry, a B Corporation since 2015. As one of the most accessible and outspoken B Corp wineries, many consumers have experienced an introduction to the Fetzer category. The winery works with other B companies such as Divine Chocolate for food pairings and Heart Creative for social media support.
As a member of B Corp Climate Collective, Fetzer recently committed to being Net zero by 2030 through a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, an increase in the reduction of carbon emissions and a commitment to renewable energies and regenerative agriculture. This is in addition to the winery’s dedication to the environment, the community, the workers and the governance that is already in place.