Think drinking organic means you have to pass on the wine and cocktails? Think again. Now more than ever, distilleries and vineyards have taken notice of the organic movement and responded with USDA-certified, sustainable wines and spirits. (Heck, even Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are making organic wines.)
So what exactly are you getting — or not getting — when you buy organic wine and spirits? What you’re not getting is a mouthful of added sulfites, pesticides, and fungicides. Earth 911 explains, "As its name suggests, 100 percent organic wines must contain 100 percent organically produced ingredients and have been processed using only organically produced aids, not counting added water and salt. In addition, winemakers cannot introduce added sulfites to 100 percent organic wines, as the USDA considers sulfites to be a synthetic food additive."(You might still get some sulfites, though — but it’s a minuscule amount compared to most wines; six to 40 parts per million in organic wines, and 350 million parts per million in non-organic wines.) If you’re really concerned about what’s in your drink, be sure to look for the "100 percent" organic label; wines that are labeled simply "organic" have at least 95 percent organic ingredients.
Beyond striving to produce organic products, vineyards and distilleries are pursuing carbon footprint-friendly, biodynamic, and renewable energy means to create sustainable spirits. We’ve found wineries using solar panels for energy, eco-friendly materials for bottling, and even natural filtration techniques using minerals for their products. (And even one eco-friendly wine tree.) There’s no better way to be drinking green this Earth Day. Click ahead to find our picks for sustainable and organic wines and spirits.