Still on the fence about going green? Chew on this: Matt Peterson, president and CEO of Global Green, warns that New Orleans will be the first city in the nation to be lost to global warming if sea levels rise. Peterson's group, Global Green, is the one working with Brad Pitt and the Home Depot Foundation on the super green Holy Cross Project in the Ninth Ward.
There are tons of steps you can take to make the world safer and cooler for future generations. One great step you can take is toward the eco-friendly wines in your local wine shop.
It is impossible for a winery to reduce its carbon emissions to zero, since releasing carbon dioxide is part of the fermentation process to make wine. Wine is made by yeast converting the sugar in grape juice into alcohol, and carbon dioxide is the byproduct. Beyond that, however, wineries can work to limit their other carbon byproducts and can alternate energy sources such as solar and wind power and can source local products and labor.
It is being done. The first carbon neutral winery was Grove Mill in Marlborough, New Zealand. They did so by a number of (seemingly no-brainer) tasks such as switching to lighter-weight bottles to save fuel in transportation. They also sponsor forest rejuvenation in New Zealand and, as it happens, they also sponsor the preservation of a certain endangered frog called the Southern Bell.
Closer to home, Parducci Wine Cellars, part of Mendocino Wine Company in Mendocino County, California recently became the first Carbon Neutral winery in the United States. Parducci partnered with the California Climate Action Registry to calculate their carbon footprint then took measures to lower their emissions and offset what they could not lower. They use biodiesel fuel in their vehicles and farm equipment, fluorescent lighting in the winery and again sponsor forest rejuvenation to offset their impact.
But the biggest and boldest step was the step taken by a collective of 30 wineries in Oregon that have ALL committed to going carbon neutral by 2009. This is a tremendous undertaking and the wineries should be commended and their wines purchased. The full list follows (my personal recommendations are in bold): Abacela, Amity Vineyard, Anne Amie Vineyards, Archery Summit Wines, Argyle, AtoZ/Rex Hill, Basket Case Wine, Benton-Lane Winery, Bethel Heights Vineyard, Chehalem Winery, Cooper Mountain Vineyards, King Estate Estate Winery, Lange Winery, Lazy River Vineyard, Lemelson Vineyards, Mahonia Vineyards, Ponzi Vineyards, Resonance Vineyard, Seven Hills Vineyard, Sokol Blosser Winery, Soter Vineyards, Stoller Vineyards, Torii Mor Winery, Troon Vineyard, Vigna Giovanni Vineyard/Barbara Thomas Wines, Valley View Winery, Vidon Vineyard, Winderlea Wine Company, Willamette Valley Vineyards, and Wooldridge Creek Vineyard and Winery.
Among those a recent favorite of mine is the 2006 Anne Amie Cuvee Pinot Noir. This is the least expensive of the Anne Amie Pinot Noirs and it runs between $25 and $30 a bottle. I purchased a couple of bottles from Bacchanal on Tuesday evening but have also picked it up elsewhere in the city. This wine is a typical example of an American Pinot Noir. It is lovely and lively with fresh red fruits and light spicy aromas. On the palate the wine is rich and fresh with black cherries and cinnamon spice. It has the fresh American Pinot Noir characteristics and is smooth and delicious. This is a 'drink now' wine - which also helps with its eco-friendly standing. If you drink it now, you do not expend energy keeping it cool.
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