Produced from grapes and seemingly so simple that many of us assume every drop must be “natural,” wine suffers from the same pesticide-ridden farming practices that affect nearly all other crop products, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t green wines (in practice, not color) out there to help you to enjoy a deep taste even while you save the world!
In a world full of ecological problems and concerns, it’s heartening to know that even the least important of the decisions that we make in life can make a real difference. Here is a guide to the most eco-friendly wine, applicable the very next time that you decide to source a bottle for your enjoyment:
1. Go Local
Full of pesticides, and costing the environment a great deal with their need to be shipped far and wide, imported grapes are the leading perpetrator when it comes to eco-unfriendly wine, and that means that sourcing your wine locally is a simple way to ensure that you’re doing the best thing for your own health, as well as that of the Earth as a whole.
Besides those obvious environmental benefits, buying your wine from local sources also means that you are supporting local business, something that benefits your entire community. This keeps money circulating among members of your immediate area, and also helps to promote more homegrown business, a fact that points to eco-friendly action long into the future!
2. Look For an “Organic” Label
A sure way to avoid those pesticides, benefiting your health as well as speaking with your money where the general use of harsh chemicals is concerned, is to buy only wine that has been certified as “organic” by local food and drink regulators. When applied to wine, this organic title conveys the fact that the drink has been made only from grapes grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, weed killers, insect repellents, and fungicides; that is, grapes grown only with water, sunlight, and the caring hand of an attentive farmer.
3. Learn About Biodynamic Wine
The term may sound unfamiliar to anyone who isn’t in the know where wine and winemaking are concerned, but “biodynamic” is a word worth remembering if you want to make the most eco-friendly choice possible when buying your next bottle!
Referring to the holistic agricultural practice that sees the creation of an entire eco-system in the growing of healthy grapes, biodynamic grape-growing sees farmers avoid the use of even natural pesticides and weed killers as they turn instead to the aid that can be given by materials and animals found on the farm itself.
As a rule, biodynamic farmers grow grapes in an environment kept clean and healthy through the encouragement of plants and wildlife that aid in the process; for example, allowing spiders to take up residence among the crops helps to control fly populations, while animal manure sourced from the farm itself serves as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, eliminating the need for manufactured products. While it takes a little more elbow grease, the wine produced from biodynamically grown grapes suffers not a bit from the unique practice, leading to an entire line of delicious, even critically acclaimed wines, with every sip reminding you of its natural origins.
4. Vegan? There’s a Wine For That
While you’d be forgiven for instantly assuming that all wines are vegan-friendly, that simply isn’t the case. It’s not the ingredients that are to blame, but rather the the filtering process that often uses animal-derived products to remove impurities and adjust tannin levels. There’s a good site to help to: winelistfinder.com
While the animal products used depend on the practices of each individual winery, it is common for egg whites, gelatin, and milk proteins to be utilized during the filtering process; though there would be only trace amounts of those products found in the wine, the process itself is enough to cross most wines off of any dedicated vegan’s grocery list.
In order to counteract this problem, many winemakers are giving up the use of such animal products in favor of filtering wine with minerals such as kaolin and bentonite, leading to a “vegan” designation and label being approved and recognized by most governments around the world.