A Palate for the Planet
KTIMA BRINTIZKI: Indigenous Varietals
Ktima Brintziki is a producer of indigenous, rare varietals and is considered Greece’s first green winery. Located in the Ilian region of the Peloponnese near the sacred town of Ancient Olympia (yes, where the Olympic games were originally held), the family-owned property is certified organic and completely carbon-neutral through the use of renewable solar and geothermal energy. The winery returns surplus energy to the community. Philosophically, the Brintzikis believe that organic certification is the modern expression of what their ancestors did for thousands of years – to farm simply, and treat the land and people with enduring respect. Husband and wife team, Dionysios and Dionysia, have a truly local, Greek operation, with an amphitheater in their backyard to boot.
Tinaktorogos: There is much to say about this storied wine. First of all, it is a wine of Homeric times, with roots traced to the Iliad. Tinaktorogos is an ancient varietal that was lost for generations until the Brintzikis hired an enologist to help them identify the many indigenous varietals that were growing on their property. They alone have been rescuing it for 20+ years. In fact, it’s so rare that the TTB (the US government agency responsible for wine labeling rules) doesn’t even have the varietal registered in their system, and so if you look closely on the back label, it goes by the more generic, non-varietal specific name “Asproudes”. Speaking of green, Tinaktorogos vines throw unique green flowers and the wine has a pale green hue. On the palate, this is one of our top Spring picks for its vibrance, stone fruit, and mouthfeel.
BODEGA CHOZAS CARRASCAL: The Known
Chozas Carrascal believes that climate change is an urgent issue, and is committed to actively minimizing the impact of their energy, emissions, and water usage. They focus on renewable energy sources like solar panels – which help reduce 80% of their CO2 emissions. During the sunnier months, like the Brintzikis, they also send surplus energy to the grid. They source from local suppliers, and are Km0 certified. They are organic certified, and use minimal intervention in the winery. Thanks to their efforts in protecting and preserving the native Mediterranean forest found within their estate, the estate itself was declared as part of a national reserve.
Marine Rosé: Although it is well known today, the Grenache grape has not always enjoyed a stellar reputation. Widely cultivated throughout the world, and particularly in Spain, its presence on the Chozas Carrascal estate was due to its very localized versatility. As you sit back and sip on this lovely rosé, we invite you to rethink what you know about rosé. While we all love pink sunshine in a glass, which is what this rosé surely is, rose can indeed be enjoyed year round. Also, we invite you to think twice about judging the bottle by its vintage. Some well-made rosés get even better with an extra year or two in bottle.
BODEGA MONTLAIZ: Planning for the Future
Montlaiz is a new addition to Wine or the World. A family winery founded in 1904 in Mendoza, Argentina, their winery is located at the foothill of the imposing Andes mountains. When Mariano Olaiz had his first child, the world changed for him. He wanted to create a better future for his children. In 2006, the farm received organic certification, and shortly after that, became certified Fair Trade. A fundamental cornerstone of the winery is caring for the environment. They measure their CO2 footprint, mitigating 100% of raw material energy usage through the use of solar panels. In addition, they assist other growers in achieving organic and Fair trade status, as part of a collective to lift the world to better practices.
Bonarda: Yes, yes, malbec. But did you know Bonarda is the country’s second most planted varietal? Technically, the Argentine bonarda comes from a DNA strain of “douce noir”, which is different than the Italian version. It’s a great alternative if you’re looking for a fresh, easy drinking and delicious red in the spring and summer. We think this is a sleeper hit.
BOSMAN FAMILY VINEYARDS: Regional Pioneers
Here’s a case study on climate change. South Africa has been experiencing the worst drought in a generation. Fires have ravaged the country, and yields have been down if not damaged altogether. Bosman Family Vineyards, in addition to mitigating their energy consumption through solar panels, has been on the forefront of preservation of biodiversity. The indigenous Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) tree has some the highest carbon sequestration capabilities because it has the ability to photosynthesize both during the day and the night. The Bosman’s spekboom farm and nursery is one innovative way of contributing to the reduction of the world’s carbon footprint.
Nero: Here’s another. What do you get when you take a socially and environmentally minded South African, who seems climate change coming, and bring him to Sicily? Drought resistant nero d’avola, of course! It is South Africa’s first Nero. Bosman Family spent 16+ years getting this to this moment - from a Sicilian vine clipping to quarantining the plant to vine growth - in order to offer a drought-resistant varietal well suited to the South African climate. We think it’s well worth the effort, and look forward to more to come.