Change is afoot in the wine industry. Sustainability is vital. Two California wineries are doing their part: La Crema and Kendall-Jackson.
La Crema has incorporated soil and ecosystem management that includes control measures to present soil erosion, and cover crops beneficial to insect habitats and improving water holding; water conservation like drip irrigation from 100% recycled winery water; and waste reduction practices and green cleaning agents are among the 227 criteria in the Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s program that the winery has met. All of that certainly incentivizes my purchase. With cascading climactic issues, sustainable practices are the bare minimum requirement for my money.
Kendall-Jackson’s water conservation practice requires that wines are produced with one-third less water than industry standard, having reduced winery water intensity by 52% since 2008. From recycling to waterless sanitation to harvesting rainwater and drip irrigation, 22 MM gallons of water are saved each year. These wines are also vinted and bottled leveraging the largest solar generator in the wine industry that also powers over 1,300 homes. In addition to traditional viticulture over half of the total acreage is left to grow wild to nourish biodiversity. The aim is to minimize impact and maximize soil enhancement, erosion control, and healthy ecosystems. 100% of Kendall-Jackson’s estate vineyards and wineries are third-party Certified Sustainable.
Here are three perfect backyard patio wines for summer
From the Sonoma Coast, La Crema’s Pinot Noir, barrel-aged eight months, is smooth, not so earthy, and it bursts with juicy blackberries, raspberries and cherries with notes of chocolate and spice. A balance of silky tannins lingers on the palate. This makes a versatile pairing with charcuterie and goat cheese, a crunchy thin crust pizza with earthy mushrooms and bacon, cedar plank salmon, and of course grilled lamb. It’s also a smooth pairing for an airy chocolate mousse.
Also from the Sonoma Coast, La Crema’s Chardonnay, barrel-aged seven months, is crisp and vibrant with notes of apple, lemon and tangerine. Sun-kissed with a lingering finish, the concentrated notes of this wine make for a refreshing reprieve on a hot summer’s day. It’s perfect for enlivening a picnic or barbecue. Naturally, this pairs with buttery dishes like a creamy pasta or buttered lobster or scallops, as well as chicken souvlaki, or chilled or broiled shrimp. For dessert try pairing it with a key lime pie.
Kendall-Jackson’s Chardonnay has been the best-selling Chardonnay in the U.S. for almost thirty years running. The Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is special because it is a blend of 100% Chardonnay from small vineyard lots in each of its growing regions: 42% Monterey County, 34% Santa Barbara County, 20% Mendocino County, 4% Sonoma County, aged seven months in French (5% new) and American oak (7% new). Fruit-forward and food-friendly, there is rich creaminess to this Chardonnay that is packed with citric and tropical notes of pineapple, mango and pear with hints of vanilla, oak and butter. This could be a lobster’s best friend and a perfect accompaniment to chilled or charbroiled seafood.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.