Drink The Best In Sustainable Wines For Thanksgiving 2022

Winemaking and sustainability are becoming inextricably linked as today’s winemakers seek regenerative, environmentally sound ways to farm their vineyards—many of which will produce fruit for over 100 years. Thanksgiving is a golden opportunity to honor the tireless efforts of sustainable wineries by serving their wines. Uncovering which wines are made sustainably can be a challenge if it is not indicated on the label (usually you’ll find a logo indicating sustainable winemaking, but not always). Here, the vetting has been done for you, all you need to do is open and enjoy over a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family.

WHITE, ROSE, & SPARKLING WINES

Goldeneye Brut Rosé Sparkling, NV: An elegant expressive rose sparkling from the Duckhorn family of wines, Goldeneye is produced at their estate winery in Anderson Valley—a winery that was constructed using sustainable principles including on-site renewable energy from a 30-Kilowatt photovoltaic array that covers almost 80%-90% of total energy needs. Succulent notes of fresh-picked strawberry, citrus cream and buttered biscuit play against the texturally rich mouthfeel in this fabulous sparkling wine. $70

Masciarelli Colline Teatine Villa Gemma Bianco 2021: Abruzzo sits within thirty minutes of mountains and ocean, creates marvelous biodiversity for agriculture. This white wine is crafted from an intriguing blend of Trebbiano and pecorino. It’s an amazing white wine from fastidiously farmed working sustainable vineyards in a very under-rated region of Italy. Rich and silky on the palate, the wine reveals citrus notes, ripe apple and a fresh, juicy finish. $20

Clau de Nel Chenin Blanc, Val de Loire IGP, 2019: This Demeter Certified 100% Biodynamic wine delivers both on best environmental practices and premium taste. It has a marvelous silky palate with notes of lemon cream and honeysuckle. Rich and layered but still boasts enough structure and acidity to finish with a lingering freshness. Delightful with roasted vegetables or stuffing. $70

CRU Albariño, Edna Valley, CA, 2021: Juicy and fresh, this pretty Albariño shows rich tropical fruit notes on the palate and a nice lemony-citrus liveliness on the finish. Cru is SIP Certified (Sustainability in Practice) and all wines are farmed sustainably. For $20, this one might be the star value of the evening.

Balletto Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2021: Lively, delicate and playful with bright strawberry-lemon notes on the palate and a delicate texture. Juicy and mouth-watering, it finishes nicely and promises to play well with a wide variety of Thanksgiving dishes. And, Balletto Vineyards is now entirely solar powered. $22

Tasca d’Almerita Madamarosè, IT, 2021: This juicy and lively Sicilian rose hails from a biodiverse estate of almost 200 acres—and the vineyards are certified sustainable by SOStain and VIVA and farmed using organic methods. Aged in stainless steel, the wine brims with cherry, strawberry, and citrus zest. The minerally, fresh profile makes it perfect as an apertif wine or with just about every dish on the table. $21

Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, NZ, 2021: The Babich family had the first independently certified sustainable vineyard in New Zealand, and 25 years later they continue to farm all grapes sustainably. This racy, juicy wine sings with red grapefruit and lime peel notes—a classic expression of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. $14

Chalk Hill Founders Block Chardonnay, 2020: This silky, beautifully textured Chardonnay hails from one of the first Napa wineries to establish “vertical viticulture,” a type of farming that makes use of cover crops to minimize erosion and increases air movement through the vineyard to reduce mildew. Biodiversity reigns supreme on this estate with only 350 acres of vineyard nestled into 850 undeveloped acres of wild grasslands and heritage oak forests. This special bottling is elegant and rich, made with native yeast and unfined and unfiltered. $110

RED WINES

Montinore Estate Red Cap Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, OR 2019: A harmonious blend of select pinot noir fruit from different geographical areas within the Valley yields a wine that is not too tannic or high-powered, but rather an expressive gem with loads of bright strawberry fruit laced with a bit of black tea, violet and plum. Montinore is one of the largest biodynamically farmed estates in the United States and gets credit as one of the early adopters and certified estates in the country –all the way back in 1982. $30

Mille Notte Donnafugata, Sicily, IT: The winery participates in carbon footprint accounting and has long-adhered to sustainable principles. This focused, richly textured red is a blend of Nero d’Avola, Petit Verdot and Syrah, crafted to show generous berry fruit laced with spice and balsamic notes. Aged in barriques, it is one of Donnafugata’s iconic wines. $93

Tablas Creek Vineyard, Patelin de Tablas, CA, 2021: A people-pleasing satisfying red blend with a rich core of black fruits and warm spices. It’s mild in alcohol and juicy on the palate, it is a wine that gets along with a range of foods. The family’s 270-acre estate vineyard is maintained with a mixture of organic and biodynamic practices—including our own mobile herd of sheep and alpacas. They dry-farm and have been certified organic since 2003. $28

Paul Lato, “Seabiscuit” Zotovich Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, CA 2020: A succulent pinot noir from one of the state’s ideal pinot noir appellations. Crafted with select fruit from certified sustainable vineyards, Lato, who is a Polish-born sommelier-turned-winemaker, favors wines of authenticity, elegance and balance and this one is no exception. Satiny bright red fruit with notes of violet and rose petal come together with marvelous tannins and structure. $80

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