What is Sustainable Winemaking?


Sustainable winemaking is the catch-all term for several winemaking practices that minimise damage to the environment and, as a result, the end consumer.

In most cases, this means that the winemaker will use only organic products and pesticides in their vineyards eschewing the use of chemical solutions. But whilst organic winemaking is the top level of low-intervention winemaking, whereby as little as possible is done or added to the grapes in order to allow them to express themselves and their terroir, at its most extreme it becomes natural winemaking (or non-intervention winemaking) where nothing (not even yeasts or sulphur) are added to ferment and preserve the juice!

Biodynamic winemaking (based on the studies of Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner) goes off on a slight tangent in treating the vineyard as one whole ecosystem and by ensuring it is healthy, balanced and in sync with nature and the moon can offer the very best fruit. Recently we wrote, “What is Biodynamic Farming In The Vineyard?” I still believe this is a focal point when talking about sustainability in wine.

The Biodynamic Agricultural Association describes it as the following:

In biodynamic farming, the strategy is not to feed the plant but instead to feed the soil. That way you get a more consistent growth cycle, and the vines are much stronger and also have a higher disease resistance, which for the farmer is a huge priority. A plant that can root itself in good soil will follow the cycles of nature very closely; break bud at the spring equinox, flower at the summer solstice, harvest close to the fall equinox, and have dormancy close to winter solstice. All of these activities are manipulated when you use artificial fertilizers.

At Pull The Cork we have an abundance of sustainably farmed wines, so let us show you some fine examples.

Viniterra is a multi-award winning winery…Describing their terroir as “an inexhaustible source of inspiration and treasure”, Viniterra’s philosophy screams of a relationship with their vineyard more passionate than any old Shakespearian star-crossed lovers. With a deep understanding of their soils, their climate, fifty years of winemaking experience and a whopping 1,020m of altitude, their wines are as amazing as you could imagine. Viniterra is consistently bagging awards including the ‘Best Malbec of the year’ from IWSC in 2016, and Double Gold at the CWSA in 2014. Located in Luján de Cuyo, a zone recognized worldwide as Tierra del Malbec, Viniterra produces its wines looking for the highest quality. Their grapes come from the area of Agrelo, Luján de Cuyo, the upper area of the Mendoza River. Viniterra produces a wide range of varietals: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Torrontés, as well as being a pioneer in the development of innovative varietals such as Carménère and Pinot Grigio.

The Viniterra Serie Malbec is a wine with an intense red ruby colour with a violet nose. It is a clean-cut wine with varietal aromas, which evidences the presence of mature red fruit, spices and marked notes of vanilla and coffee, resulting from its ageing in oak barrels. It has a persistent and balanced finish. Oh and by the way, for the best Malbec in the world, it’s only £10.80!!

A Touch of Greece

The Kokotos Three Hills is from a family run vineyard that started back in 1970. George Kokotos and his family decided to settle in Stamate, abandoning city life in order to create a small vineyard in the hills north of Athens. The vineyards are in the Peloponnese area, in southern Greece. There is a long-term collaboration with viticulture so that they can succeed in harvesting top quality vegan-friendly grapes.

The Kokotos Three Hills is an intense red colour. It has a pleasant fruity character with a bouquet of red fruit with floral notes. Well balanced in the mouth with supple tannins and good acidity. Makes a perfect match for white or red meat cooked in the oven, yellow cheese and sausages. At a mere £12.00, it’s a no-brainer – you must try it!!

A Classic from the Rhone Valley

Cellier des Chartreux has never ceased to look to the future to defend the quality of its terroir. In 2001, a winery with stainless steel tanks was built. This highly functional unit provides a very precise control of winemaking. Using equipment and advanced techniques (flash relaxation since 2004, and 3 pneumatic presses), the grapes are vinified with respect to its land and its Appellations of Origin. Direct pressing and draining, low-temperature fermentation. Matured on lees. The soil is clay-chalky. The winery in Sauvettere is found just between Lirac and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, therefore producing superb wines. In recent years, the contribution of new vine varieties allows the production of varietal wines, such as this Viognier.

Cellier des Chartreux Viognier Iles Blanches 2017  is a dry white wine with a beautiful golden colour. A fruity nose with notes of fresh white flowers, tropical fruits. A good representative for Viognier, it is elegant and refined. A round balanced palate, rich and fleshy, great freshness, and a good aromatic persistence. Most certainly an enjoyable glass of white Rhone. It’s ONLY £12.20!! which makes this wine the ultimate weekday dinner wine!!

Or a Christmas treat from Champagne

Forget Chemin Champagne is an absolute cracker! For over 4 generations, the family has grown and produced a full range of champagnes. Following in the footsteps of Eugène, Paul, and Edmond, Thierry Forget is currently the Head of the Champagne house and is a certified Oenologue. Thierry produces a small proportion of champagne a year, a mere 5% of which is exported. His vintage champagne carries the ‘Special Club’ badge which means it is deemed to be among the best examples the region has to offer. Only grapes grown exclusively on the estate are used in the wine. The vineyard is cultivated according to the regulations drawn out by viticulture raisonné practices. This refers to sustainable and reasonable agriculture practices which avoid chemical use in the vineyard.

This case from Forget Chemin Champagne is on Special Offer in the run-up to Christmas – £160.00 ONLY

Have a fabulous weekend!!

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