Consumers have been making “natural”, “green”, and “organic” choices when it comes to shopping for…
For all of our friends who love a good glass of wine, we have put together for you 5 eco-friendly wines that we think you should try in a glass.
Winemakers have been adjusting their process in order to make more sustainable wines for the increasingly conscious consumers. Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly wines are terms that are used to define the types of wine that claim to not be harmful to the environment. These wines can be categorized as organic, biodynamic or natural.
Organic wines are made from organic grapes, which are grown without the usage of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, artificial ingredients or antibiotics, etc. Wines marked with the “organic” title convey the fact that they are made from at least 95% organic ingredients and without any addition of sulfites in the winemaking process.
On the other hand, biodynamic wines are made from grapes that are not only organic but are also grown in a clean and healthy natural environment, which is provided by the land’s wildlife. With the aim of conserving natural resources, biodynamic farmers build their soil’s fertility up by using animal manure, and in order to control pests, weeds and diseases, they use farm-generated output materials, all the while eliminating the usage of manufactured products from their process. Since they aren’t using any artificial additives, the wines have the real taste of their place of origin.
Natural wines aren’t just made from grapes that are cultivated sustainably in the vineyards; they must also be processed using the minimum amount of additives -including sugar, tannins, acidifiers- and without the use of any technological manipulations. Natural winemakers put in as little intervention as possible, in order to keep the authenticity of their wines.
As eco-friendly wines require additional attention and extra care, they result in better wine quality. With only a few materials added, the wines reflect a pure and fresh fruity taste, as well as the terroir (the expression of a place in a wine). They are not only good for our health, but they also keep and maintain the soil’s health, the well-being of the surrounding flora and the survivability of the local ecosystem, for future generations. This is very important as we all want to preserve our limited natural resources, and, at the same time, enjoy our favorite drinks without worrying about ingesting any toxic chemicals that might be in it. Besides the important impact on our health and on the ecosystem, there are increasing numbers of younger consumers who particularly look for products that pay attention to the environment, and their efforts are helping this industry grow and expand.
Here are 5 wines from eco-friendly winemakers we highly recommend. Cheers!
Type of wine: White wine
Price Range: $15.00 – $16.00
Located in Mendocino County, California, a place where the weather is ideal for viticulture, Bonterra Vineyards have been growing grapes organically since 1987. The winemakers believe that healthy grapes will naturally lead to higher quality wine. That’s why they grow a variety of cover crops and invest in biodiversity, by planting additional types of flora, such as lavender, poppy and olive trees, which help protect the vineyards from insects, and enrich the soil naturally. Bonterra wines are stamped with the Demeter Certification – a certification for wines produced by a biodynamic process.
This fruity and smooth Bonterra Vineyards Viognier 2012 has herbal and floral undertones, along with a taste of vanilla and a freshly ripe apricot flavor. It will go perfectly with spicy Thai or Vietnamese food. You can buy it here.
Type of wine: Red wine
Price Range: $16.00-$19.00
Having started out in Chianti, Italy, one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Cecchi family has been working incessantly to produce significantly high quality wines made from fresh and flavorful grapes. With complete respect towards the ecosystem and the beautiful landscape of central Tuscany, the Cecchi family commits to applying their sustainable winemaking process in an effort to protect the environment. They utilize advanced technology in order to optimize production, to reduce unnecessary use of energy and natural resources, and especially to recycle waste water. They provide special care to their vines, to guarantee that they’ll yield some excellent quality fruit. Cecchi has become one of the first companies to earn the ISO 9001:2000 certification in 1997, the BRC (the British Retail Consortium) accreditation in 1999, and the IFS’s (the International Food Standard) approval since 2005.
The extremely attractive and vegan Natio Chianti Cecchi 2012 is made entirely from organic grapes. Its black cherry fruit taste, along with its lively acidity, make it ideal for pairing with red meat, spicy pastas and cheese. You can buy it here.
Type of wine: Red wine
Price Range: $19.00 – $25.00
Gemtree, established in 1998 in South Australia’s McLaren Vale, is a family-owned business dedicated to produce better quality wines in a natural way. Their superior shiraz fruits are grown biodynamically, with minimal intervention to the winemaking process; therefore their fresh and authentic taste expresses their place of origin. In addition to having made great environmental protection efforts, in 1998, the certified organic wine producer Gemtree preserved 10 hectares of land in their vineyards, in order to maintain the area’s ecological balance and save the wildlife’s natural habitat. Their eco-friendly wines were awarded 5 stars in James Halliday’s highly respected reference book on Australian wines in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012.
Gemtree Vineyards Uncut Shiraz 2012 with its multi-layered complex flavor of dark chocolate and red berries, makes a wonderful match to flavorful beefsteak and kidney bean pie. You can buy it here.
Type of wine: White wine
Price Range: $17.00 – $21.00
Sokol Blosser were founded in 1977 by Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser. Ever since the first vines were planted in the splendid Willamette Valley, Oregon, the Blossers have been aware of the impact of viticulture and wine production on the environment and the area’s ecosystem. As a Certified B Corporation and a leader in research of vineyard cover crops and eco-friendly winemaking, Sokol Blosser winery continues their commitment to preserve the natural landscape and the environment, and to produce premium quality wine.
Sokol Blosser Pinot Gris 2014 features an aromatic mix of peach, green herbs and wildflowers, in a beautiful touch of sweetness, which makes it a great choice to accompany rich fish (salmon, tuna) dishes, seafood, grilled chicken or mature and hard cheese. You can buy it here.
Type of wine: Red wine
Price Range: $65.00 – $67.00
One of very few Demeter-certified biodynamic producers in North America, Benziger, is a terroir-driven family-run winery founded in 1980. Their vineyards lie in a terraced volcanic bowl in Sonoma Mountain, California; surrounded by loads of flowers, herbs and other plants, which bring in beneficial insects and birds. Benziger Winery runs on biodynamic principles with a dedication to protect environment. They also create various programs, in an effort to help their partners get certified in one of the processes.
Benziger Joachin’s Inferno 2012 is Demeter-certified Biodynamic® wine produced entirely from the Benziger Family Estate. It features ripe berries flavors with hints of vanilla and smoke with a silky texture. This luscious and strong wine can be paired with beef, lamb, poultry and spicy food . You can buy it here.