December 6, 2018

Fetzer Vineyards Honored with Governor’s 2018 Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA)

Vintner Recognized with State’s Highest Environmental Honor for Leadership in Zero Waste Practices

Mendocino County, Calif. December 6, 2018Fetzer Vineyards was honored with the state’s highest environmental honor, a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (“GEELA”), at a Sacramento awards ceremony December 5th. Recognized in the category of Waste Reduction, Fetzer Vineyards was selected for a 2018 GEELA for expanding on a longstanding commitment to sustainability with its pacesetting waste management program. Fetzer Vineyards began tracking and reporting waste in 1990 and became the world’s first winery to achieve TRUE Zero Waste certification in 2014, with a diversion rate of over 98%. This honor marks Fetzer Vineyards’ third GEELA award, having previously been recognized by the governor and CalEPA with GEELA awards in 2003 and 2008.

“We are very pleased to receive this recognition,” said Cindy DeVries, chief operating officer for Fetzer Vineyards, “as it underscores the importance of a focus on waste reduction as critical to our efforts to pursue climate-smart practices in our business.” GEELA is awarded to individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions to conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.

“This year’s GEELA honorees are examples of how innovation, determination and vision can address some of our most significant environmental challenges,” said CalEPA Secretary Matthew

Rodriquez. “From fighting climate change to reducing waste, their successful efforts are proving

that environmentally sustainable practices can grow and support a healthy economy.”

The annual Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award is administered on behalf of the Governor’s Office by the California Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California State Transportation Agency, the California Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, the California Government Operations Agency, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and the California Health and Human Services Agency.

“As the first winery in the world to be TRUE certified, Fetzer Vineyards has demonstrated its leadership in minimizing waste output and efficiently using resources, furthering our goal of developing a zero waste economy for all,” said Stephanie Barger, director of market transformation and development, for TRUE at the U.S. Green Building Council.

For more information about the award, visit the online home of the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards.


About Fetzer Vineyards

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, Fetzer Vineyards was founded in 1968 by Barney Fetzer in Mendocino County, California. An award-winning purveyor of wines and spirits spanning multiple origins and available in more than 50 countries worldwide, Fetzer Vineyards is a leader in sustainable business practices, organic winegrowing, and craftsmanship in the cellar.

In addition to robust offerings under the winery’s flagship Fetzer label, the winery also crafts the leading wine from organic grapes, Bonterra Organic Vineyards, named American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2016. Other California offerings include Adorada, Anthony’s Hill, Jekel Vineyards, Sanctuary Wines and 1000 Stories, the original Bourbon barrel-aged wine.

Part of global winery Viña Concha y Toro, Fetzer Vineyards imports iconic South American wines such as Chile’s most-acclaimed wine, Don Melchor, as well as the Cono Sur, Viña Maipo, Marques de Casa Concha, Casillero del Diablo and Frontera labels from Chile, in addition to Argentina’s Trivento Reserve. Recently, Fetzer Vineyards entered the ultra-luxury wine and spirits category by forging a partnership with Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. to sell its historic craft rye whiskey.

Media Contact:

Courtney Cochran | Fetzer Vineyards | 415.728.4004 |