8 Sustainable Spirits and Wines for Earth Day Slideshow
April 12, 2013
2010 Estancia Monterey County Pinot Noir and 2010 Monterey County Estancia Chardonnay ($12, $16)
Estancia Estates is one winery dedicated to renewable energy. Located in Monterey County in California, Estancia Estates (owned by Constellation Wines) installed solar panels and began using renewable energy in 2010. Through Estancia’s solar project, the winery has drastically reduced its carbon footprint while continuing to make the high-quality, affordable wines it is known for. The solar project, which generates 75 percent of the winery’s energy, keeps 1,492,335 pounds of greenhouse gases out of the air every year. That is the annual equivalent of taking 237 vehicles off the road, planting 27,000 trees or 248 acres of forest, powering 164 homes, and not driving 2.6 million miles.
In addition to being sustainably responsible, Estancia’s Monterey County Chardonnay and Monterey County Pinot Noir are perfect wines to celebrate planet Earth. The chardonnay’s notes of lush tropical fruit, vanilla custard, and apple pie and the pinot noir’s luscious berry flavors make them the ideal wines to enjoy on Earth Day.
Emiliana Natura Merlot ($11)
Produced by organic viticulture, the Natura Merlot brings to life the character of the Rapel Valley (Chile) in this unique and complex wine with flavors of strawberries, raspberries, and black pepper. Enjoy the Natura Merlot with a variety of red meats or cheeses such as Camembert, Roquefort, and goat cheese. Made at Emiliana Organic Vineyards, this organic wine is one that packs a fruity punch with a touch of acidity and tannins for a full mouthfeel.
A true gem, this super premium, red blend, biodynamic wine from Colchagua, Chile, echoes the land it is grown on with lush, rich flavors of red fruits, black pepper, and vanilla. Coyam pairs well with a variety of dishes include red meat, pasta, cheese and dried fruit. Also made at Emiliana Organic Vineyards, the Coyam name means "Chilean Oak" for the Mapuches, the original inhabitants of central and southern Chile, says the website.
Pacific Rim Organic Riesling ($14)
Pure and fresh from the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Rim Organic Riesling is made from pesticide-free and sustainably farmed vineyards. The winery for Pacific Rim Rieslings (a Bonny Doon vineyard) is centrally located within 50 miles of all their vineyards, reducing freight and therefore reducing the carbon footprint. The result is a beautifully subtle yet sweet riesling that is well-balanced by bright and refreshing acidity. Pair this organic wine with your favorite spicy Asian salad or sushi.
Dreaming Tree Everyday Chardonnay ($15)
A wine from Dave Matthews? Yep, you know it’s one that's perfect for Earth Day. Named for one of Dave Matthews Band’s greatest hits, "Everyday," this is the newest addition to the portfolio from Dave Matthews and award-winning winemaker Steve Reeder. Crafted from the finest fruits in the Central Coast of California, Everyday is a bright and aromatic wine, with fresh floral and ripe honeysuckle notes that give way to zesty fruit flavors. Adding an element of sustainability, The Dreaming Tree is committed to providing a high-value, environmentally conscious product. The natural cork closure is sustainably grown, the bottle’s label is made with 100 percent recycled brown paper, and the bottle is sealed with an eco-friendly sealant. Perfect for the spring season, this refreshing wine pairs with fresh crab and lobster, Mexican salsa with jalapeño peppers, or Indian curry dishes.
Casa Noble Tequila ($40)
Casa Noble is hand-crafted at a centuries-old, boutique distillery that respects the Earth and its natural resources. The agave is estate-grown, allowed to fully mature not eight or 10 years but up to 14 years, so that every sip of Casa Noble is full of flavor and nuances that are characteristic of the terroir of the estate. In fact, not only is Casa Noble Tequila USDA-certified but it is also one of the few products in Mexico to receive the highest official government green certification by the Mexican Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection. And the taste of the tequila? It’s a well-balanced, smooth tequila with aromas and flavors of raw and buttery sweet cooked agave, mango, and a hint of citrus for a long finish. This is not the tequila you had in high school — and you’ll feel good drinking it.
Akvinta Vodka ($40)
A lot of other vodkas contain all sorts of impurities and added sugars, but Akvinta has no additives. Akvinta is triple-distilled from the highest-quality organic Italian wheat and Croatian spring water from one of the last ecologically unspoiled regions in the Mediterranean. Akvinta is then uniquely filtered through a patented Quintuple Filtration process consisting of five natural filters (charcoal, marble, silver, gold, and platinum), which refine it to create a crystal-clear vodka that is exceptionally smooth and absolutely delicious. Not to mention, it's also 100 percent USDA Certified Organic and kosher.
FAIR Vodka ($40)
Remember that quinoa vodka? FAIR is one of the only vodkas not only to be made with quinoa (everyone’s favorite grain), but one of the first fair-trade spirits to hit the market. FAIR Vodka uses ethically sourced quinoa from Bolivia, that’s then distilled into a vodka that’s not as dry as a rye vodka, and not as thick as a potato vodka. (FAIR now also has a coffee liqueur and goji berry liqueur.)
Newton Vineyard's Pino Solo Wine Tree
Newton Vineyard, the American leader in unfiltered wines and a pioneer in sustainability in the Napa Valley, has paired with American designer Derek Chen, to create the newest eco-friendly wine accessory: the Pino Solo Wine Tree. For the “wine tree,” Derek reimagined the iconic pine tree atop the highest peak of Newton’s mountainside vineyard, Pino Solo. The pine stands over 100-feet tall and has become a symbol of Newton’s eco-friendly practices. A 54-inch tall storage rack that holds 12 bottles, Chen’s Pino Solo Wine Tree is made of 75 percent post-consumer reclaimed metal for the spokes, and repurposed used oak barrels from the winery for the Wine Tree’s base.
A portion of sales will benefit the Napa Resource Conservation District, an organization committed to water conservation and responsible watershed management in the Napa Valley. You can buy the Pino Solo Wine Tree at available in New York City at Sherry-Lehmann, inn Chicago at Morlen Sinoway Altier, and in San Francisco at Propeller design store. It is also be available on NewtonVineyard.com and will ship nationally from Newton.