It’s Earth Day and its time to reflect on what you buy and how it affects the environment. When taking the environment into account when purchasing, you somethimes don’t think of your wines. We certainly didn’t. That was until we were invited to a wine tasting with Bonterra Wine and dinner at the iYellow Wine Cave.
The Bonterra winery which is north of Napa Valley, makes organic wine which uses organic grapes to make their wine, which means that they don’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers that would soak into the earth. Bonterra go through significant auditing every year to make sure all of their practices meet or beat USDA regulations. They also plant native flowers around the grapes to attract beneficial bugs, and welcome songbirds and chickens into the vineyards to eat up the pests.
Bonterra Organic Vineyards plant a variety of cover crops down the rows between the vines to naturally add nitrogen, control the vigor and keep the soil loose and moist, which reduces runoff and the need for irrigation. Then they compost those cover crops (along with all our other plant waste) to feed back into the soil.
Bonterra also produces Biodynamic wines, which includes all the practices of organic wine – the absence of synthetic inputs, composting to close the loop, using cover crops and maintaining biodiversity. Biodynamic practices are designed to promote and enhance biodiversity and biological activity in the soil. Special mineral and microbial treatments are applied to the vineyard at specific times of the year.
Bonterra Vineyards is also helping the environment by not producing waste – the winery is roughly 98% waste free and uses bicycles on the property. The winery also uses 100% solar power and does not buy electricity! In fact, they sell electricity back to the state of California. Organic Wine produces less powerful hangovers and is better for the environment with fewer chemicals used – it is a no brainer as to which should be your next wine purchase.
We were able to try out the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Viognier. We loved the taste of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Chardonnay. The first 3 are available at the LCBO now for $19.95 and the Viognier will be available at LCBO in September.