When it comes to wine, everything's going green. Sustainable, organic and biodynamic (a form of organic farming that involves a healthy dose of oddball spiritualism, based on the writings of early-20th-century philosopher Rudolf Steiner) grape-growing are three well-known approaches, and many European (and American) wineries are finding additional ways to help protect the earth, as wellwhile still producing top-quality wines. Here are five wineries from as many countries, their eco-friendly strategies and recommendations for a great bottle from each of them.
De Bortoli Wines organically treats its winery waste water, which is then used to irrigate crops that in turn feed local cattle. The winery also instituted what it calls the 17 Trees Program, planting 17 trees for each company vehicle to offset CO2 production. Look for the 2005 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Sémillon ($30), a luscious, honeysuckle-scented dessert wine made from Sémillon grapes.
At Alois Lageder's Tenuta Löwengang estate in Italy's Alto Adige, a new winery building was built with energy-efficient strategies such as photovoltaic panels on the office roof, special external walls for thermal insulation and energy-saving radiator panels in the ceilings for heating needs. Lageder makes a broad portfolio of wines, including one of the best Pinot Noirs in Italy, the fragrant, cherry-inflected 2005 Krafuss ($45).