Producing sustainable wines is about both growing practices and ethical working environments
What does it take for a winery to be considered sustainable? It’s more than a buzzword stuck on a label. It requires a symbiotic relationship with the land, prioritizing water conservation in vineyards; soil stability and fertility, taking only as much as it gives; maintaining a healthy habitat for nearby wildlife; and no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. (And a bunch of official certifications.) On top of all that, ethical working environments are just as crucial. As people consider the ethics of their consumption, sustainable wineries are primed to deliver high quality wines with a high quality ethos to match.
This 26-year-old winery is widely known for Gamay wines. This bottle is medium bodied with notes of ripe Niagara cherries and raspberries. Aromas of berries and white pepper tickle the nose. Not that you need an excuse to start summer early, but it pairs well with anything you can cook on an outdoor grill.
Beamsville, Ontario. $21.95/750 ml. Get it at Malivoire Wine Company (4260 King East, malivoire.com). Ontario-wide shipping available.
Southbrook was the first winery in Canada to be certified organic and certified biodynamic back in 2008.It’s been all about sustainability from the very beginning. This bottle is a great introduction to orange wine (also known as skin-fermented white wine) and is made from a blend of Vidal and Chardonnay Musqué grapes. It’s an easy-drinking wine with minimal tannins.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. $29.75/750 ml. Get it at Southbrook Vineyards (581 Niagara Stone, southbrook.com). Ontario-wide shipping available.
Summerhill Pyramid is a winery in the heart of the Okanagan Valley and since it’s been 100 per cent organic since its inception in 1986. This baco noir is deep and full, with notes of chocolate, blackberry, red currant and oak. It’s like velvet on the tongue. Balance the heft of the wine and serve it with confit tomatoes and flat bread.
Kelowna, British Columbia. $28/750 ml. Get it at Summerhill Pyramid Winery (summerhill.bc.ca). Canada-wide shipping available.