The category of organic wines is growing slowly but steadily. The USDA lists certain requirements in order for wines to be certified as organic. These prerequisites state that a grape’s origin must be from pesticide-free vineyards. A wine maker is also prohibited from adding any additional sulfites to the wine. Although the movement is still a little green, there are several easily accessible brands producing quality wines.
If California had an organic wine Mecca, then it might very well be Mendocino County. Lolonis Vineyards in Mendocino has been making organic wines long before it was trendy. Their non-vintage Cuvee of French Columbard, Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay has naturally solved the dilemma of how to be pesticide free. Lolonis Lady Bug White comes from vineyards that use Mother Nature’s own pest remover, the lady bug. Smooth as slate with fresh mineral notes and stone fruit flavors, Lolonis Lady Bug White is a perfect patio sipper and one of the more affordable organic wines at $13.44. It also comes in a red blend mysteriously dubbed Lolonis Lady Bug Red.
Another of Mendocino County’s organic output comes from Jeriko Vineyards, the 2003 Jeriko Merlot. With a vanilla creaminess and loads of soft fruit flavors of plum and cherry, Jeriko Merlot makes it easy for the rookie organic consumer to cross over to the green side. The Jeriko Merlot may cost a little more at $18.99, but it’s a biodynamic attempt at doing what comes naturally. Similarly, if you’re looking for the same quality that is also food friendly, then check out the 2003 Jeriko Syrah with its drier style and heartier overtones.
Sunday, February 24, 2008