Food: Sustainability in a Bottle

Wine quality depends on many variables - climate change and weather patterns, the caliber of the grapes, the winemaker's skill - but sustainable growing and operating practices go a long way toward producing better vintages. Here are a few of our favorite bottles

By Gretchen Roberts

Photo by Anthony Verde

Banrock Station
Australia’s Riverland

Supports wildlife conservation to nurture the grapes on its 4,200-acre property and donates a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold to wetlands projects around the world.
2005 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium-bodied fruity wine with hints of spice. $6

Benziger Family Winery
Sonoma, California

Employs vineyard-specific growing practices, protects native yeasts, and relies on predatory birds and insects for pest control as part of its Farming for Flavors cultivation program.
2005 Oonapais Sonoma Mountain, a rich, earthy red blend made from certified biodynamic grapes, hand-sorted in the vineyard. $50

Frog’s Leap Winery
Napa, California

Starts with deeply rooted vines that pull every ounce of nourishment from the earth without irrigation or pesticides.
2006 Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford Napa Valley, a crisp, elegant wine with mineral undertones ($18), or 2006 Zinfandel Napa Valley, a well-balanced, low-alcohol Zin. $28

Catalonia, Spain

Has forgone pesticides and herbicides for the last 30 years and recently created more than $10 million in reforestation grants to facilitate the reduction of CO2 .
2006 Viña Esmeralda Catalunya, a lightly spicy white with floral aromas, or 2004 Coronas Catalunya, a medium-bodied red, tasting of dark cherry and toasted oak. Both $10

Resonance Vineyard

Farms biodynamically on soil that’s primarily ocean sediment to produce its wines’ signature flavor.
2006 Resonance Vineyard Pinot Noir, a bright, smooth wine with raspberry-pomegranate aromas and hints of clove. $49

Willamette Valley Vineyards

Offers employees 50 free gallons of biodiesel each month to encourage the use of biofuels. It is also the first winery in the world to use FSC-certified cork in its bottles to help preserve an environment that sequesters carbon and releases oxygen.
2005 Dijon Clone Chardonnay, a medium-bodied, fruit-forward wine with lingering flavors of vanilla, pear, and cream—it rivals the winery’s acclaimed Pinot Noir. $18

Issue 25

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