April 22 is Earth Day.
Earth Day was born in 1970 after a massive oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, prompted then Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson to rally the nation and help save our planet.
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way. From recycling to biking to work there is a keen awareness that we must save our planet.
But the wine world has known this for centuries. As farmers first, they work with Mother Earth — not against her — every day. And while there are many terms and monikers — from organic to biodynamic to sustainable — that have shown up on wine bottles everywhere, they all mean variations of the same thing: Winemakers work everyday to preserve our land.
But some clearly are more dedicated than others. Take Natura Wines from Chile. Their wines are made from 100% organically grown grapes and are vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
Being vegan- and gluten-free may sound obvious since wine is made from grapes but, believe it or not, many wines are not.
Sometimes when wine is made fresh, it can look a little cloudy. To get it clear, there is a “fining process” and things like casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites) or gelatin (animal protein) may be added to clear it up. And while the amounts are so small, those products generally are off limits to true vegans.
Same goes for gluten. Trace amounts may sneak in during that fining process. But while the amounts are so small they don’t have to be disclosed, they could bother someone who is super-sensitive. So be sure to check your favorite wine’s site or call the winery and ask.
In addition, Natura wines do have added sulfites. We’ve talked about adding/removing sulfites before, but remember, all wines have some level of naturally occurring sulfites that are created as a by-product of the fermentation process. Many wines have additional sulfites to make them last longer.
But Natura wines don’t and the winemakers make a true effort to naturally cultivate very vine and insect on their properties. (Watch the fun video on their site about caring for a bee, especially in light of the recent trouble the poor bees have had lately.)
Natura makes seven different varietals from Sauvignon Blanc to Malbec. And they all retail for under $15.
The Natura wines are a part of the Banfi Vitners Family of Wines. The Banfi added Natura to its portfolio back in 2006 because they knew, back then, that there would be a demand for reasonably priced organic wines.
Clearly, they were right.
So try an organic wine on Earth Day. And let us know if they truly taste cleaner and fresher to you.