I’m always on the lookout for what I call the “Friday night pizza wine.” You know that good bottle of wine that’s not too expensive, maybe not the most fabulous bottle of wine you’ve ever had, but works great for your regular Friday night slice of pizza.

I’ve got a few Friday night pizza wines already, but I’ve been looking for one that comes from a winery that is concerned with sustainability. Last weekend, at the Boston Wine Expo, I found one.

The Climber Red Wine (2004) from Clif Family Winery and Farm (the same Clifs that make the Clif Bar). I’m not very well-versed in “wine speak” so I can’t talk about the wine’s finish, but I can tell you that it was smooth and full of the spiciness that I like in a red wine that will go with pizza or a red-sauced pasta.

It’s a blend of five grapes — 59 percent Zinfandel, 20 percent Syrah, 9 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 6 percent Merlot, percent Petite Sirah.

In addition to liking this wine, I like what I see in the winery that it comes from. They outline their sustainability efforts on their website.

  • We supported growers that practice organic and sustainable farming methods. Over 30 percent of our fruit was sourced from certified organic vineyards.

  • We reduced the weight of our glass across all of our wines and formed a partnership with ReCork America to recycle our extra corks.

  • We offset the CO2 emissions generated by our business including energy use by our office, our winemaking practices, and business travel. In partnership with NativeEnergy, our purchase of offsets — a total of 144 tons in 2008 — will help to build farmer-owned wind turbines.

  • We partnered with Community Alliance with Family Farms and NativeEnergy to support long-term sustainability efforts and the health of small farms.

Their future goals are also admirable. In 2009, they will be focusing on:
  • Sustainable Food & Farming

  • Environmentally Friendly Packaging

  • Renewable Energy & a Climate Neutral Footprint

  • Meaningful Partnerships

Clif Family Winery and Farm has several other wines to choose from. I only tried their The Climber Red Wine because at the wine expo, you have to pace yourself.  

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Clif Family Winery working on sustainability
Clif makes more than Clif Bars. Their winery and farm is working towards becoming more sustainable each year.