Harnessing the sun: Solar Panels
We love spring and the promise it brings of longer days full of sunshine and warmer weather. During Earth Month, we wanted to showcase some wineries that are taking an important, common step in reducing their carbon footprint: harnessing the energy that comes from the sun.
While you savor some of these spring-friendly wines in your favorite outdoor spot, you can take some time to appreciate that the same sun shining down on you is helping to make your wine and your world that much better.
Montlaiz is a family winery founded in 1904 in Mendoza, Argentina. Their winery is located at the foothill of the imposing Andes mountains. A fundamental cornerstone of the winery is caring for the environment. They measure their CO2 footprint, mitigating 100% of raw material energy usage through their use of solar panels. In addition to being certified organic and fair trade, they also assist other growers in achieving organic and Fair Trade status, as part of a collective to lift the world to better practices.
Dandelion Chardonnay: This organic, medium bodied Chardonnay is hand-
harvested from a single vineyard site of sandy loam soils, and aged sur lie in
concrete vats. It has tropical aromas with slight citrus and floral notes. This is an
easy wine to pair with a salad or light seafood dish.
Bodega Chozas Carrascal
Chozas Carrascal actively prioritizes minimizing the impact of their energy, emissions, and water usage. One of the many ways they do this is through their use of solar panels. The 266 solar panels on the winery’s roof help reduce 80% of their CO2 emissions. When needed, the balance of their energy needs comes from natural gas. During the sunnier months, they even send surplus energy to the grid. They source from local suppliers, and are Km0 certified. Chozas Carrascal is also organic certified, and take a gentle approach in the winery.
Thanks to their eff orts in protecting and preserving the native Mediterranean forest found within their estate, the estate itself was declared as part of a national reserve.
Las Dos Ces Tinto: This beloved easy-drinking wine comes from a single vineyard of Bobal located between 750 and 800 m above sea level. Chozas has particularly great soil conditions for vine growing: a clay layer that keeps freshness, limestone at the root level that provides minerals, and sandy soils underneath for drainage.
Las Ocho: Chozas Carrascal has the distinction of being one of Spain’s very few Vino de Pago wineries –the highest classification in Spain, similar to a Grand Cru in Burgundy. This is only offered to premium wineries with unique growing conditions. Las Ocho is Chozas Carrascal’s Vino de Pago flagship wine that represents the breadth of the winery. It is made from an 8-grape varietal bliss of red fruit, silk and tannic goodness. Pair this wine with steak (made of beef or broccoli!), and some nature-loving Zen.
Bosman Family Vineyards
In South Africa in recent years, it has become nearly impossible to ignore the impacts of climate change as a years-long drought led to fires, and reduced yields. Solar panels are just one of the steps Bosman Family Vineyards has taken to lessen their environmental impact and improve the land around them. In addition to sustainable farming methods, they also began a Spekboom plantation, which is an indigenous tree that has extremely high carbon sequestration capabilities due to its ability to photosynthesize day and night. Further, they achieved the highest status, champion status, from the World Wildlife Foundations’ Biodiversity in Wine Initiative (BWI), which acknowledges their effort to preserve biodiversity of the indigenous fynbos plants of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Weisser Riesling In 2000, the Bosman family acquired land for the De Bos Vineyard, located against the Babylonstoren Mountains, in order to grow cool climate grapes. The ideal soil types and cooling breezes in this area combine to create a terroir on par with the best in the world. The result is this truly food friendly wine with notes of lemons, green apple, spice and pressed flowers. Its vibrant acidity is a good foil for rich, spicy dishes. This is a team favorite for the spring!