Better climate, better wine: The wine industry gets serious about climate change.

Have you ever cracked open a bottle of your favorite wine to find it didn’t taste as good as you remembered? 

Or taken a sip from the House wine at some fine dining establishment, and tried to quickly recover from the pursed lips that would reveal it tasted a bit sour?

You probably chalked these experiences up to simply a bad bottle, or the Sommelier at the restaurant likely whisked it away uttering something about the batch of grapes that particular year. 
But did you know that the culprit was most likely the continually changing climate?

Experts say that grapes grown to make wine are more adversely effected than any other crop, making it even more critical for wineries to focus on reducing the negative effects on the environment.  So, from organic wine (wine that has been produced from organically grown grapes) to biodynamic agriculture (organic farming that excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants), the wine industry is committed to this important initiative. 

In addition, certified ‘green’ programs like the ‘Napa Valley Green Certified Winery’ are popping up all over the world, establishing sustainable and green business practices for wineries.  Certified wine production facilities demonstrate a commitment to conserving water and energy, reducing waste and preventing pollution with the primary goal of reducing their overall carbon footprint.  The result is less carbon emissions and more flavorful grapes.  

 Unlike organic foods, where it’s sometimes difficult to taste the difference from their non-organic counterparts, when it comes to wine, the proof is most definitely in the palate.  But a fruitier flavor isn’t the only benefit of swigging a sustainable Sauvignon. Imbibing these eco-friendly wines also promotes better health.  There are even a wide variety of organic vegan wines available, so let the vino flow! 

Here are the Top 3 benefits you can expect by reaching for a bottle of biodynamic Bordeaux or any one of 500+ selections from this list, courtesy of the Fork & Bottle:

“I’ll have a glass of Pinot Noir, hold the artifical flavors and pesticides.”

Organic wines must follow a strict criteria in order to be certified ‘Organic,’ which means that in addition to being free of pesticides, they do not add any artificial flavors, such as oak chips, resulting in the most natural wine-making techniques that not only yield bolder flavors, but promote the use of renewable resources — and the conservation of soil and water — to enhance environmental quality for future generations.

 “No thanks, I’m trying to cut back on sulfites.”

Sulfites are salts and sulfur-based compounds that are added during the wine-making process to protect the wine from oxidation and bacterial activity.  While most occur naturally in wine, organic wines are made with no added sulfites, making it a healthier alternative for your body.  The less sulfites a wine contains, the more the wine is able to help boost your immune system, promote antioxidants and reduce the occurrence of wine-drinking drawbacks such as headaches.

“My wallet is getting fatter with the more organic wine I drink – not my waistline.”

In some cases, buying organic wines can actually be cheaper than traditional wines because streamlining the wine-production process produces cost savings from things like reducing water usage, conserving energy and saving on the purchase of expensive pesticides, making it a healthy, tasty and economical option.

Below are a few recommended organic wine choices to get you started:

Frog’s Leap – 

Organic Wine Company –

Bonterra Vineyards –

Grgich Hills –

Organic Vitners –

Benzinger Winery –

Now you can raise a glass, and with each clink, toast the replenishment of our environment. If you’d like to reduce more than just your carwine footprint, you can identify other ways to get involved by visitng

Special thanks to Michael Bottigliero, the WindyCity Wine Guy.

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