As more industries around the world have started looking inward at their environmental impact, wineries have emerged as leaders of the sustainable movement.
Winemaker’s around the world have started shifting toward more sustainable practices, whether it be in the vineyard, cellar, tasting room, or all around. Not only do these sustainable wines impact the environment, but many practices have been shown to impact the quality of the wine. In terms of Pinot Noir, this has become an important factor since these grapes are exceptionally sensitive and easy to affect. Here are four sustainable Pinot Noir producers from all parts of the world.
Flowers Vineyards & Winery, Healdsburg, California
Flowers Vineyards and Winery only produce two wines: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These two wines have been recognized as being world-class, with a beneficial influence from the fog-shrouded Pacific Ocean. With the area’s soil and climate, the wines perfectly express the unique growing conditions of the area.
Flowers Vineyards focuses on organic and biodynamic practices, resulting in heavier vines and high-quality soil. These practices mean that there are no synthetic sprays used in the vineyards or cellars, and they depend on nature instead. So with the biodynamic practices, animals are often incorporated into the vineyards to control insects and rodents. As a result, the wines have a distinct characteristic, with a reduction in soil and air pollution.
Domaine Michel Magnien, Burgundy, France
Considering Burgundy is the world leader in Pinot Noir production, it is no surprise that there are a number of powerhouse, sustainable producers. One of the best examples is probably Domaine Michel Magnien, which has managed to incorporate several powerful, sustainable practices in their Chateau.
The biggest focus of the Chateau is their biodynamic farming, which like many others, includes several natural elements in their vineyards. So instead of relying on synthetic pesticides and herbicides, they have allowed animals to control the pests, and they rely on natural fertilizers. In fact, the winery has perfectly explained their motto: “Each bottle showed loyalty to the purity of the appellations, passion for wines and influence of the natural elements thanks to the biodynamic principles.”
Neudorf Vineyards, Nelson, New Zealand
Neudorf Vineyards is an excellent example of how even the wineries in New Zealand are shifting toward more sustainable practices. This winery has put the idea of ‘organic’ at the heart of their work, combining several important practices.
The vineyard is fully certified or in conversion to organic. This is no easy process and takes up to three years. In addition, they have extended their efforts to sustainable practices by recycling all their food waste, using recycled paper, composing the cellar waste, reducing their air travel, and returning packaging to suppliers. The estate has also started recycling bottles and screw caps, whereafter they donate the money to a local charity.
While you can definitely taste the quality and craftsmanship in the Pinot Noir and the other wines the winery produces, the sustainable practices and efforts are admirable and worth supporting.
Soter Vineyards, Carlton, Oregon
Soter Vineyards produces spectacular wines, especially Pinot Noir, and have done so with a great respect for nature and the inclusion of biodynamic farming. The vineyards are formed around the idea of a regenerative farming system and the integration of plants and animals for healthy soil. As most biodynamic producers, these vineyards have animals and insects that help with pest control. The best examples are the falconers used during harvest, which keep birds away from the ripe berries. Ladybugs, wasps, and other insects are used to control aphids and leafhoppers in the vineyards.
One of the most interesting aspects of their farming is the addition of legumes that are sowed in their soil for a boost of nutrition. The respectful nature of Soter is admirable and is rather distinct in their Pinot Noir.
Key Marketing Takeaways
There are several Pinot Noir producers around the world who have moved toward sustainable and organic practices to reduce their impact.
While some of the producers have focused on biodynamic farming, others have furthered their efforts in different parts of their business - all of which are greatly admirable.
The sustainable efforts are not only excellent for the environment but the quality and health of the wines are also impacted greatly.