April 20, 2017

Two Wines For Earth Day 2017

By In Wine Notes
Two Wines For Earth Day 2017, April 22nd is Earth Day – an annual, world wide, event to show support for environmental protection. Thought I would hunt down a couple of bottles to crack open in celebration.

The aim is to encourage people to do things that will benefit the Earth, such as recycling more, using solar power or plant trees. The event takes place around the world and it is described as the biggest secular holiday on the planet. More than a billion people are expected to celebrate the day including environmental campaigners Leonardo di Caprio and Emma Watson. The Sun

With such a special relationship to the earth you would expect many wine producers take extra responsibility. Many do. Some don’t. We would all like our wines to be produced without the use of pesticides, fertilisers, with respect to the flora and fauna all around us. With producers respecting nature and taking sustainable approaches to vineyard management and winemaking. One of my favourite Rhone producers, Jean-Luc Colombo, have taken the organic approach to wine making.

These included banning the use of any pesticides, using bark mulch in the vineyards (which preserves the natural microorganisms and humidity in the soil yet retards the growth of plants which compete with the vines for water and nutrients), and encouraging the natural biodiversity of the vineyard by planting trees around each plot and allowing wildflowers to bloom. Vin Colombo

Two Wines For Earth Day 2017 1 – Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Rouge 2014

Two Wines For Earth Day 2017 1 - Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Rouge 2014

Jean Luc Colombo Les Abeilles Cotes du Rhone 2014

In their Terres Brulées vineyards in Cornas they use a horse – Gamine – to turn the surface of the soil without disrupting the organic cycle.  This allows the removal of the grass which competes with the grapevines for water and minerals, and to do so without the use of herbicides.  In addition, the weight of the horse is well below that of a tractor which compresses the soil, and which could not access the steep slopes of Cornas anyway.  And of course Gamine uses renewable energy – she eats the grass!

Côtes du Rhone Les Abeilles (‘the bees’), is named in honour of the important role that bees play in pollinating their vineyards. The Colombo family are keen bee keepers and honey makers, and active supporters of bee charities in France, the UK and the USA. Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Rouge 2014 (£12.15 from Wine Rack, Luvians, John Lewis, Kingsgate Wines, Oxford Wine Company) is a lush Grenache-dominant with with Mourvedre and Syrah making up the blend. Expect plenty of red fruits, herby notes and a smooth, highly drinkable wine.

Two Wines For Earth Day 2017 2 – Cune Crianza 2014

Two Wines For Earth Day 2017 2 - Cune Crianza 2014

Cune Rioja Crianza 2014

For those who prefer a young Rioja could look towards Cune Crianza 2014. Responsible and sustainable viticulture forms the basis of the companies philosophy. They have established an environmental policy which covers many aspects of it production, for example all organic by-products in the winery are reused or sold as compost or even as products used in spa treatments. CVNE also run water saving programmes and comprehensively recycle wherever possible.

Cune Crianza 2014 £10.30 is listed by Majestic, Tesco, Wine Rack, Wholefoods, E H Booth and Co, Vino Wines. A rounded, nicely balanced gently spiced red. A classic Rioja blend using Tempranillo mainly with support from Grenacha Tinta and Mazuelo.

“2013 – Cune Crianza obtained the double Environmental Footprint
To measure the actual impact of CO2 and water consumption when producing wine, the winery has calculated the carbon footprint and the water footprint of its Cune Crianza. CVNE is the first winery in Spain to be recognized with a double environmental footprint.” Cune

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