Robin Lail

Robin Lail, a member of the Napa Valley Vintners, is the U.S. representative of the Porto Protocol, established to help combat climate change. 

The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) board of directors voted during their June 27 meeting to become signatories of the Porto Protocol. In doing so, they become the first North American wine trade association to join the effort.

The Porto Protocol was established by Adrian Bridge of Taylor’s Port in 2018 based on the premise that the effects of climate change can be diminished if everyone plays their part. It is a binding commitment by its signatories, from any area of industry, to make a greater contribution to reduce climate change. The initiative formally launched with President Obama speaking at the inaugural conference in July of 2018.

“As new signatories to the Porto Protocol, the NVV has further broadened their commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Robin Lail, U.S. representative of the Porto Protocol, Napa Valley vintner and daughter of NVV founding member John Daniel. “Just like the NVV’s ambitious goal to have all their eligible members in the Napa Green program by the end of 2020, the Porto Protocol is another important step in addressing climate change.”

Participants sign the Letter of Principles, which includes a commitment to “do more than they are doing at the moment, guide their activity by good environmental practice principles and execute projects oriented towards the sustainability of the organization,” among other goals.

“I am delighted that the NVV has joined the Porto Protocol as they are an organization that has always taken a far-sighted view of environmental matters,” Bridge said. “The Porto Protocol serves as a platform to share best practices in mitigating climate change. Members of the NVV have much to share with fellow vintners around the world and I look forward to their experiences helping to accelerate the speed with which the global wine industry combats climate change issues.”

As founding members and longtime champions of the Napa Green sustainability certification program, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions through reductions in winery water and energy use, the NVV established a goal in 2015 to have all their eligible members involved in the program by the end of 2020. Today, more than 70% of the membership has joined.

The organization has also led the way with local climate science, working closely with researchers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to analyze historical Napa Valley climate data to determine how the region’s average daytime and nighttime temperatures have changed over time, if at all. An update to the study, which was originally published in 2011 is expected later this year.

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