I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I opened a bottle of 2007 Releaf, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz from South Africa. Of the six bottles* of organic or sustainably grown wine I purchased, Releaf was the bargain wine at $8.99. I considered not even buying it. I’m glad I did.

A while back I wrote about being on the search for a Friday night pizza wine that was more sustainable than what I’d been drinking. This fits the bill. It’s a flavorful red that pairs well with pizza. It’s very affordable – important for the Friday night pizza wine because on Friday night you never know how many people will be over for pizza and how many bottles you’ll go through. And it’s made from 100 percent organic, hand picked grapes on a vineyard

with a goal to contribute to the local ecosystem, throughout the year the estate removes non-native plants and trees and replaces and reestablishes with indigenous trees. When the property was purchased, very little of the indigenous vegetation remained.  Now, 153 acres of the estate, designated for conservation is seeing the return of the native Eland, Oryx and Springbok (antelopes) and the threatened Renosterveld, a grassy shrub land dominated by members of the Daisy family.
Additionally, the vineyard has a nursery and daycare on site for the workers’ children, and a portion of the proceeds from Releaf go to upgrading that nursery. How great is that?

The bottle is made from partially recycled glass, the label is made from recycled paper, and even the ink on the label is eco-friendly. When I went looking for a Friday night pizza wine that was more sustainable than the one I’d been drinking, I didn’t realize I’d find one that was more sustainable right down to its ink.

Releaf is from the Organic Wine Trade Company. They offer a variety of organic and fair trade wines. I’m going to be on the look out for more of their wines. I’ll be sure to let you know if I like them.

* In case you’re keeping track, Releaf is the third of the six bottles I bought that I am writing about but the fifth bottle I’ve opened. That means two of the bottles I didn’t like. One bottle is still waiting to be opened — the only bottle of white wine I bought — and chances are it will be opened this weekend.

Image: organicwinetradecompany.com 

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

Organic 2007 Releaf wine
This bargain red blend is a great pick for Friday night pizza.