8 Sustainable Napa Valley Wines To Try This Earth Day
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Internet Marketer and wine connoisseur, blogger for BuyWinesOnline.com.
On Earth Day, drinking responsibly can mean something a whole lot different if you are trying to be friendly to the world. If you want to do your small part in the fight against Earth killing practices then you should consider purchasing "green" wine, that is, wine made from eco friendly and sustainable farming and winemaking practices.
With a push around the world for industries to do their part in sustainable practices, it is not hard to find great wine from regions all around the world. Wineries in the U.S like Washington and California are doing their part to push sustainable standards that can be followed by wine producers around the world, and Napa Valley is leading the charge.
Napa Valley is the nation's only agricultural preserve and has the distinction of being the home of Napa Green. Napa Green was formed in the early 2000s to help meet the demand from winemakers and growers who were seeking better education and tools to better implement sustainable practices into their vineyards and wineries.
When a Winery is Napa Green Certified, it signifies that it is committed to rigorous soil-to-bottle standards when it comes to sustainable grape growing and winemaking.
The mission of Napa Green is to have all vineyard and winery owners participate in the Napa Green Certified Land or Winery Programs during 2020. This will contribute to the health and preservation of the Napa Valley River Watershed, strengthen the Napa Valley Community, and begin to associate sustainability with business success.
Wineries contribute to being a Green Winery through implementation of a range of sustainability and environmental stewardship practices to:
- Increase energy efficiency
- Conserve water and increase efficient water use
- Reduce waste through environmentally preferable purchasing, recycling, and composting
- Commit to social equity, caring for employees, neighbors, and the community
Alternatively, vineyard certification based around the Green Certified Land Program involve developing plans for whole-farm conservation and are focused on:
- Reducing erosion and sediment runoff
- Conserving water resources
- Identifying and reducing harmful inputs
- Ensuring healthy employees and happy neighbors
“This program is about quality - this program is about creating a quality wine, creating a quality environment for your staff, for your community, creating a quality environment for my kids and everyone else’s children.”
-Michael Honig, President, Honig Vineyards
All of the wines listed in this blog are certified for both their vineyards and winery in terms of Napa Green standards -- this is referred to as being Double Napa Green Certified.
Beringer Quantum Napa Valley Red Blend 2014: Beringer farming practices promote a sustainability philosophy. There are several actions taken to care for the soil and minimize water-usage. First, they till minimally to reduces soil erosion. They also apply compost to improve soil health and nutrition and also improve vine balance and wine quality.
They also use soil-moisture monitoring equipment to prevent unnecessary water usage. Finally, they utilize drip irrigation to reduce water use and evaporation.
Cakebread Cellars Merlot 2015: Cakebread is certified Napa Green for both winery and vineyards, and they are working on perfecting their latest cutting-edge green-tech innovation: worms. The winery has created a wastewater treatment system powered by worms, called the BioFiltro BIDA. Microorganisms eat the bad organisms in the water, and release a substance that can then also be used as fertilizer for the winery's gardens; parking lot water is also collected and filtered.
Charles Krug Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017: Utilizing natural alternatives to standard fertilizers and pesticides whenever possible, Charles Krug Winery and the Peter Mondavi Sr. Family use sustainable farming methods in their vineyards. They use cover crops, and low till usage and riparian restoration also play an integral part in their methods. They hope to preserve the beautiful surroundings for generations to come and to be sensitive to their local environment in order to enhance the life of the Napa River system.
Clos Du Val Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015: Jon-Mark Chappellet, Director of Operations at Clos Du Val Winery in Napa Valley, is developing a 50-year plan. Napa Valley vineyards and Chappellet are being forced to adopt various sustainability strategies to protect the quality of their grapes and wines and to combat the effects of climate change.
Climate change effects include decreased water supply, variation in temperature outside optimal growing conditions, and more pests interfering with crops. Napa Valley is a strong market for grape growers and vintners and is best known for its ideal growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes where estate wineries like Clos Du Val focus their production efforts.
Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot 2017: The team at DWC places a lot of importance on being good stewards of the land. They created a program called Integrated Pest Management to be as sustainable and eco friendly as possible.
This program is a year round system that they implement in order to have a proactive farming plan. IPM programs are implemented to help eliminate pesticide treatments that are unnecessary. They also minimize risks to water and air and protect beneficial insects as well as pollinators.
Frank Family Vineyards Zinfandel 2017: Throughout the year, Frank Family Vineyards team takes important steps to preserve the natural beauty of their 380 acres of planted vineyards and nearly 450 acres of land across Napa Valley. They employ drip irrigation to conserve water use in the vineyard.
Their vineyards, including a small lake at Benjamin Vineyard, provide natural habitats for a diverse collection of beneficial insects and birds that prey on harmful pests. After each harvest, they plant cover crops that improve the soil health and bring nutrients back to the vines. Lastly, they never burn winter prunings but rather chip the canes to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Opus One Red Wine 2016: Opus One recognizes that methods in sustainability can benefit the winery, neighbors and consumers. A commitment to conservation and responsible consumption in the areas of energy, water, waste management, transportation, purchasing, and food frames the culture and internal practices at Opus One reflect . Opus One is certified as a green winery and is implementing more than 100 favorable and environmentally friendly procedures.
Robert Mondavi Maestro Bordeaux 2016: From its inception, Robert Mondavi Winery has demonstrated a deep commitment to both the environment and local Napa Valley community. Robert Mondavi was an early adopter of sustainable wine farming and made an effort to adopt a natural farming approach to the cultivation of their estate vineyards.