MNN Galleries

8 eco-friendly East Coast wineries

By: Sidney Stevens on Jan. 14, 2011, 12:06 p.m.

Photo: McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks

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McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks, Thurmond, N.C.

Nestled on 30 acres at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley, McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks makes its eco wines and hard ciders from grapes and apples sourced locally and grown with minimal chemical sprays. Though not certified organic, the vineyard does rely on organic methods, including the use of free-roaming four-legged, two-footed, and winged weed- and pest-patrollers. There are miniature sheep to keep weeds down; chickens to gobble grubs; bluebirds, attracted by the plentiful bluebird boxes, to battle bad bugs; and perennial gardens to encourage good ones. A sustainable kitchen garden boasts heirloom vegetables and herbs served up for bashes in the tasting room (a renovated barn with reclaimed wood floors). The winery also invests in carbon offsets from to minimize its wine-shipping footprint.