A wine doesn't need to be certified organic to be sustainable. It's the practices that the wineries employ that make them sustainable, not a stamp of approval from the USDA. In fact, many wineries that are committed to sustainability go beyond what would be required for organic certification. Understanding this allows me to explore a whole world of wines and look into the sustainability of each individual winery that makes them.
I was recently sent some wines from the Napa region in California that are certified by Napa Green. This certification looks at wineries individually, too.
This voluntary program is focused on independently certified, environmentally sound farming and production methods that meet and exceed more than twenty local, state and federal "best practices." Napa Valley vintners and growers develop farm-specific plans tailored to protect and enhance the ecological quality of the region, or create production facility programs that reduce energy and water use, waste and pollution.
The list of participating wineries in Napa Green is impressive. Big names like Robert Mondavi and Beringer are certified as well as dozens of smaller Napa wineries. One of those is Artesa, a winery that focuses on producing small, ultra-premium lots of varietals. Artesa holds a Napa Green Certified Land certification. This certification includes not only farmed and vineyard land, but also "non-farmed and wild land, roadways, stream banks, drainages, and more within a specific property." For every acre of vineyard land in Napa Valley, 1.35 acres of land are certified or pending certification through Napa Green.
Last night, I opened up a bottle of 2014 Artesa Albarino. Traditionally a grape grown in Spain, Albarino creates a light, fruity, dry white wine. The first flavor that came out in this Napa Albarino was peach. It has a very distinctive peach flavor when it first hits the palate and then it evens out with some lemon, tart apple and honey. A little oak, but not an overwhelming amount, is in the finish. The wine is aged for five months in stainless steel (85 percent) and new French oak (15 percent).
This is a seafood-friendly wine. My mind immediately went to crab. It's a classic pairing with octopus. While it is a food-friendly wine with nice acidity, it also is lovely on its own. It makes for a wonderful, summery sipping wine. With an SRP of $28, this would be a special occasion wine for me.
Disclaimer: I am not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I’ll write about the product if it’s something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.
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