Monday, May 12, 2008

Care to Make a (Green) Toast?

I’ve been a wine enthusiast since graduating from college about a dozen years ago (my uncle gave me a bottle of good wine and I was hooked) and I’ve been a traveler for as long as I can remember (literally—my first memory is a trip I took with my family when I was just two years old). As a travel writer since 2001, I’ve been lucky enough to combine these two passions with trips to wine regions, from Tuscany to Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Recently, my passion for all things green has entered the mix as well and I’m searching for great wine with an eco pedigree . . . and I just found a winery I’d like to share with you: Yalumba Winery (

Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned winery (operating for over 150 years) and they happen to have a holistic approach to their environmental practices with a focus on sustainability of natural resources. Here’s how their website describes their commitment to the environment: “At Yalumba environmentally-friendly sustainable activities are recognized as an intrinsic aspect of wine quality. In order to substantiate this aspect of quality, Yalumba has implemented a brand stewardship program that reflects authenticity, due diligence, product safety and credible environmental management. Yalumba is committed to working co-operatively with its suppliers of goods and services to help them minimize their environmental impacts by adopting clean technology and best practice procedures. All things being equal, Yalumba also strives to give preference to locally produced goods and services. Furthermore, the company seeks to encourage its customers to dispose of product packaging in an environmentally and socially responsible manner.”

In 2007, Yalumba Winery was the first winery in the world to receive the Climate Protection Award from the US Environmental Protection Agency and, in 2005, was the first company to be officially recognized by the Australian Government’s Green Office as a “Leader” in greenhouse gas management. Their list of green awards is impressive.

And so is their wine.

Yalumba has several organic wines. Unfotunately, I couldn’t find any in my local wine shop, so I tried a 2006 Shiraz Viognier. Some wine expert rated it 88 points and I think it deserves to be 90. At least. It’s wildly aromatic (with sweet fruits on the nose) with the taste of dark berries and soft tannins at the finish. I had it with a piece of dark chocolate and it was ridiculously good. If you can find it, get a bottle (or two) for yourself. And, when you enjoy it, offer up a toast to the environment.

Question of the blog: What’s your favorite green wine?

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