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Looking for wine with a smaller carbon footprint?

Do you have an eco-palate? Is a winery’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint as important to you as the caliber of its wines?

If so, here are some tasty bottlings to try. Each of these come from wineries that are making great efforts to mitigate climate change, from Jackson Family Wines’ joint project with Spain’s Familia Torres wines to help cut wine industry carbon emissions by 80% by 2045 to Benziger’s pioneering of biodynamic wines, which use a holistic, natural approach to farming.

Benziger Family Winery, 2018 West Row Chardonnay (farmed organically), $34

Ram’s Gate Winery, 2019 Carneros Sauvignon Blanc, $38

Kendall Jackson’s 2020 Vintner’s Reserve California Chardonnay, $17

Marimar Estate, 2019 Don Miguel Vineyard Abariño, $34

Trefethen Family Vineyard, 2020 Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley Chardonnay, $40

Roederer Estate, Multi-vintage Anderson Valley Brut, $30

St. Supery, 2020 Napa Estate Sauvignon Blanc, $25

Those with an eco-palate often follow the latest technological advances with wine, and here’s some news that will please them. More Sonoma County wineries are expected to follow the lead of Napa winery Trefethen Family Vineyard, which launched a carbon-capture pilot program during the harvest of 2021.

Amy George, CEO and founder of Austin, Texas-based Earthly Labs, which developed the technology for the pilot, said while she can’t mention names, she has spoken to several wineries that are very interested in pursuing carbon capture in 2022.

Earthy Labs has been using this carbon-capture technology (Earthy Labs CiCi) for breweries and now is offering a similar technology for wineries. It captures carbon dioxide from fermentation, transforms it into liquid, purifies it and stores it for reuse in a box roughly the size of a refrigerator.

While other California wineries have carbon-capture projects, Trefethen is the first to use this system.

“We’re thrilled to have Trefethen an early adopter,” said George, who added that the winery will soon share its findings with Porto Protocol, the international nonprofit with hundreds of wine industry members committed to mitigating the effects of climate change.

Hailey Trefethen, the winery’s executive vice president, said there’s a lot of momentum in efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change. Her winery, for instance, is conducting a greenhouse gas inventory of the business to see what other steps they might take to reduce emissions. They already have installed solar panels, purchased electric vehicles, opted for lighter bottles and are reusing winery wastewater.

“We do these things because it’s the right thing to do,” Trefethen said. “It’s our culture and who we are. And we’ve become more deliberate in our efforts.”

Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5310.

Peg Melnik

Wine, The Press Democrat

Northern California is cradled in vines; it’s Wine County at its best in America. My job is to help you make the most of this intriguing, agrarian patch of civilization by inviting you to partake in the wine culture – the events, the bottlings and the fun. This is a space to explore wine, what you care about or don’t know about yet.

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