Wine Review of the Week: Loimer Riesling from Austria for Earth Day

Our new feature, Wine Review of the Week, will put the spotlight on our vibrant community of wine reviewers with one special bottle personally selected by one contributor. To kick things off, sommelier Lesley Quinn has chosen the  Loimer Erste Lage Zöbing Heiligenstein Riesling 2011, Kamptal DAC Reserve from Austria for Earth Day. Her tasting note: Ever come across a small clear spring where the water is slowly trickling over rocks, giving off a fresh clean steely scent? That is what drinking this Riesling reminds me of. The satin smooth texture and fresh aromas of pears and apples give you […]

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Organic Wine: What is it? Toast Earth Day with Wine, Naturally

By Natalie MacLean Earth Hour has passed, and Earth Day is almost upon us. Naturally, you might think about pouring yourself a glass of organic wine on April 22. But what is organic wine and how is it different from “inorganic wine”? Back in the 1970s, the concept of “organic wine” conjured up images of pony-tailed vintners in tie-dyed T-shirts, producing wines more for ideology than taste. Thankfully, those days are just a watery memory now. Today, organic wines are no longer just for health nuts and tree-huggers. Wine lovers drink them for their quality. They’ve gone mainstream and represent […]

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How to Find the Best Organic Wines: Buying Tips

By Natalie MacLean Who makes organic wine? The number of wineries making organic wines is increasing steadily, with the result that they’re available in a far greater range of styles than ever before. Formerly, they were only the domain of small producers, but now large companies are taking an interest as a way to diversify their offerings and to improve their environmental images. Some of the producers implement some organic principles and not others, some grow organic grapes but don’t make organic wine and still others make both organic and non-organic wines. So check the labels carefully. Why don’t more […]

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Organic Wine v Biodynamic Wine v Sustainable Farming: Differences?

By Natalie MacLean Why farm organically? Many winemakers consider the approach as part of their overall commitment to quality. Organic farming requires a much deeper understanding of the vineyard and a greater vigilance over it. Problems must be detected early because organic fixes take longer. Another benefit is the social responsibility for winery workers’ health and not exposing them to toxic chemicals. What are the environmental benefits? Many wineries have locked horns with environmentalists and local residents over the issue of deforesting the land in order to plant vineyards. Hillsides are a flash point. Winemakers know that vineyards on slopes […]

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The Rising Green Tide of Sustainable Viticulture and Eco-Centric Winemaking

Trending words like sustainable viticulture, eco-centric winemaking, biodynamic and organic wines, and that old chestnut, environmentally-friendly grape farming, are all sprinkled as liberally as compost on wine blogs, labels, and most recently, the LCBO Vintages Magazine. They’re all part of a growing trend that looks at wine holistically, though of course, there’s also a certain amount of natural barnyard marketing here ;) Regardless, it’s a good thing. Sustainable viticulture can include everything from LEEDS-certified buildings like Stratus Vineyards in Niagara, which recycles gray water; to lighter bottles that meet the Lightweight Glass Wine Standard of 420 grams. Those wineries don’t […]

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