Heard It Through the Grapevine: Celebrating Eco-Friendly Wineries in the US

by Guest Writer

Everyone raise a glass and cheers to these eco-friendly wineries because today we are celebrating National Wine Day! To celebrate one of our favorite holidays, we want to tell you a little bit about some of the eco-friendliest wineries in the US. From California to Long Island, these wines will have you feeling good from your head to your environmentally-conscious little toe and toasting to our planet in no time.

Beyond saving the environment, studies show that eco-certified wines receive a higher score in their wine quality rating than regular wines. But, as is often the case with wine, things are much more complex than they first appear. To be an eco-friendly winery, you have to do more than just use organic grapes. These wineries were picked because they go above and beyond with solar panels, dry farming, natural herbicides, and pest control – you name it. Whether their philosophy is “quality over quantity” or “irrigation is the oxycontin of American viticulture”, they are making a name for themselves, and their wines are under $35!

Alma Rosa – Buellton, California  

This California winery has prided itself on its green practices since its beginning in 1983 when it became one of the first organic vineyards in Santa Barbara County. From using natural oils as herbicides and weeding by hand to building special deer fences to create wildlife corridors through the vineyard, this winery shows that “environmentally sensitive farming is not just a method but truly is a way of life”.

Check out this 2017 Blanc, La Encantada Vineyard for $32

Bedell Cellars – Long Island, New York

From the wine region in our own backyard, Bedell Cellars has been making wine using their maritime terroir technique since 1980. Grown in the cooler climate, this winery meshes the flavor of their product with the native flora that populates the coast and is considered by many to be the “benchmark winery in the Eastern United States”. PS: For the history buffs out there, Bedell Cellars served their wines at the 2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration!

Check out 2018 First Crush Red for $18

Long Meadow Ranch Winery – St. Helena, California

This Napa Valley winery distinguishes itself from hundreds of vineyards in the area by practicing full circle farming. The vineyards, which are planted across 150 acres, are California Certified Organic and use compost from each part of the ranch, which also houses olive groves, highland cattle, chickens, horses, and bees. Beyond this, the ranch is mainly powered by solar energy, which saves them from creating about 70 tonnes of carbon monoxide by producing cleaner energy than a power plant.

Check out this 2018 Sauvignon Blanc for $23

Hedges Family Estate – Benton City, Washington

This winery in the Red Mountain area of Washington is one of two wineries in the state to practice biodynamic farming, a Demeter-certified agricultural method that is similar to organic farming. To farm sustainably, they house chickens to act as natural pest predators and use natural compost to replace chemical fertilizers. Everything is done by hand on this vineyard, which is probably what gives it that award-winning quality.

Check out their 2013 Descendants Liegeois Dupont Red Mountain Syrah for $30

Cameron Winery – Dundee, Oregon

Yes, this is the winery that claims irrigation is one of the most harmful addictions of viticulture. A founding member of the Deep Roots Coalition, Cameron Winery practices dry farming, which means they don’t irrigate their vineyards because, for them, a wine’s flavor is only as good as its rainwater. It seems that Oregon’s rainwater is pretty great because this winery has been dubbed “Oregon’s Prince of Pinot”! PS: They’re kind of celebrities – check out this documentary, “Life in Vine”, to see them in their film debut.

Check out their 2017 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir for $20

Red Tail Ridge Winery – Penn Yan, New York

As New York’s first LEED®- Gold Certified Winery, this winery takes eco-friendly wine production very seriously. Their building runs entirely on geothermal energy when it comes to their heating, cooling, and refrigeration and all their suppliers are within a 500-mile radius to cut back on emissions from transportation. Run by a husband and wife team, their business is named after the two hawk pairs that live just outside the vineyard. They definitely value quality over quantity – sometimes they produce less than 50 cases a year!

Check out their 2016 Dry Riesling for $18.95

Frey Vineyards – Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California  

Of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning Frey Vineyards. They were America’s first organic and biodynamic winery! Vegan? Yes. Gluten-free? Yes. Organic grapes? Definitely yes (the county they reside in produces more organic grapes than any other). They have kept 90 percent of their land as wild forestland and are hoping to soon switch to electric tractors in the coming years.

Check out their award-winning 2017 Organic Merlot for $15

Sit back. Relax. And tag us in your National Wine Day selfies @eco18dotcom so we can join you in celebrating some of your favorite eco-friendly wine!

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