Akhila is a Justmeans staff writer for CSR and ethical consumption. As an IEMA certified CSR practitioner, she hopes to highlight a new way of doing business. She believes that consumers have the immense power to change 'business as usual' through their choices. She is a Graduate in Molecular Biology from the University of Glasgow, UK and in Environmental Management and Law. In her free-time she i...
Which Beverage Companies Should You Choose from this Valentine's Day
What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a bottle of wine? With so many eco-bottles around picking one isn't really all that hard. Plenty of vineyards and wineries have invested in biodynamic and organic agriculture practices.
Green vino is certainly seeing an increase in market share and slowly finding its way to supermarket shelves. Many eco-labels can be found on wine bottles and this include organic and Fairtrade.
Organic Wines: The natural by-product of the yeast fermentation produces sulfites in the wine. This makes if difficult to certify a bottle as completely organic, rather you will more often find the label 'Made with Organic Grapes'. This means that the agricultural processes used to grow the grapes is organic although the wine itself isn't.
Biodynamic Wines: The process of Biodynamic agriculture has a longer history in Europe than in the US. But because it is less regulated but still achieves similar objectives as organic cultivation, it is fast gaining ground. It also uses cover crops, better pest-management systems, and natural fertilizers. GMOs are strictly prohibited.
There are many vineyards that follow biodynamic processes. From the master-list here, you can see that there are more of these wineries in Europe than in the States but there are many notable names in America. These include:
In Napa and Sonoma Valley: Ehler Estates, Black Sears, Benzinger and Fetzer. All of these wineries follow eco-friendly production processes as well as biodynamic growing protocols.
In Washington: Cayuse Vineyards and Pacific Rim make the list for organic and biodynamic agriculture.
In Oregon: Brickhouse and Cooper Mountain Vineyards
Fairtrade Wines: La Riojana gained Fairtrade certification in 2006, and is the largest co-operative in Argentina. Their wines have been endorsed by the Co-op in the UK . Santa Irene winery in Curico Valley, Chile is also another Fairtrade winery. Whole Foods Market is one of the most important retailers of Fair Trade wine in the US.
Etica Wines focuses on revealing best practices, consumer wine reviews and interviews with the people that make it all possible. They focus on organic as well as sulfite-free wine, Fair Trade Wine and Biodynamic Wine. The organize wine-tasting for various events.
The Organic Wine Company offers top-quality wines from France and Italy including red, white, sparkling, biodynamic and even vegan, all certified organic. Organic wines from other countries are usually certified with the EcoCert and BioFranc labels. However if you live in a wine-growing region, choose a local wine even if it may not be organically grown because you will saving on travel miles.
While you're thinking about organic wine, also give a thought to Fairtrade or organic chocolate and other ways you can make Valentine's Day Green.
Photo Credit: Akhila Vijayaraghavan ©