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The soul of Indian Soil Carefully Crafted into our Boutique wines
I think this may be my summer of Rose. Usually around this time of year, I start drinking less red wine and more white wine. Over the past year or so, I’ve been introduced to several Rose wines that I’ve enjoyed, and I have a feeling I’ll be filling my shopping cart with many bottles of Rose between now and fall.

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  I’ve talked about my previous hesitation to embrace Rose wines before. It stems back to my early years of drinking super-sweet White Zinfandel wine and an irrational thought that any time a wine has a pink tinge to it, it’s going to taste like syrup to me. I’ve come a long way in changing that thinking, but still, I seem to be a little surprised each time a try a Rose and it’s not sweet.

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Wolffer Estate Vineyards uses an extensive sustainable viticulture program to minimize environmental impact and to ensure the protection of the workers’ health and safety. Here are a few of the methods they employ.

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There's been a lot of talk about "green" wines recently, so in honor of Earth Day we decided to break down the journey from the vine to the bottle to determine how a wine gets the green stamp. These days there are many shades of green so we are looking at four buzzwords to define what it means to be green: sustainable, organic, biodynamic and natural.

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Sustainable Sustainable wine is made with three main goals: environmental stewardship, economic profitability and social and economic equity. Sustainable winemakers do this by pursuing healthy and productive vines for current and future generations, taking care of those that work the land and giving back to the community - all while furthering business goals. Once hard to define and certify, organizations like California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine and SIP (Sustainability in Practice) are making sure sustainable wineries have guidelines to follow.

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Organic Much like food, organic wine has to be able to check a lot of boxes in order to be certified by the USDA. First of all, it must not contain any added sulfites, which is tricky as most winemakers and wineries add some. While we are on the subject, sulfites are a misunderstood part of the winemaking process, as grapes actually naturally produce sulfites during fermentation, meaning nearly all wines have some sulfites.

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NORTH FORK OF LONG ISLAND & THE HAMPTONS, Long Island, N.Y., Apr 22, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) --Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing, Inc. (LISW), a not-for-profit organization that provides education and certification for Long Island vineyards, announces its formation as the first sustainable vineyard certification program in the Eastern United States. This effort provides further example of New York City's local wine district raising the bar for eco-friendly farming practices and pioneering the union of viticultural science, world-class winemaking, and social responsibility.

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As the 2012 vintage enters spring bud-break, LISW will begin the multi-year certification process for Long Island farm wineries using international standards of sustainable practices in quality wine-grape production that have been refined for Long Island. These sustainability guidelines use a checklist system consisting of recommended and prohibited practices and materials, thoughtful planning and numerous ecological options, as verified by independent third-party certifiers. All Long Island vineyard owners have been invited to join LISW to begin working on the transitional pathway toward the adoption of more sustainable practices and ultimate certification.

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A core working group of leading Long Island wineries participated in the inception of LISW: Bedell Cellars, Channing Daughters Winery, Martha Clara Vineyards, and Shinn Estate Vineyards. These founding partners worked in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County to write and codify specific sustainable grape growing guidelines for Long Island's two AVAs: the North Fork of Long Island and The Hamptons, Long Island. The foundation of the program is the New York VineBalance Grower Self- Assessment Workbook, which acts as a roadmap for evaluating sustainable viticultural practices. Development of the VineBalance Workbook began in 2004 as a major cooperative effort led by Cornell University Cooperative Extension with funding from the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and New York Farm Viability Institute. The VineBalance Workbook is now recognized and endorsed by the Agricultural Environmental Management Program of the New York State Soil & Water Conservation Committee and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets.

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By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman Tax Day is now in our rearview mirror, and if this rite of spring left your wallet a bit light, now is the time for a bit of bargain hunting.

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So far this year, we have reviewed nearly 250 wines from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. From these, we have selected some of the best bargains we’ve come across. These red wines all retail for $15 or less and should be readily available from your favorite wine merchant or directly from the winery.

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While these are the retail prices, you’ll probably find them for a dollar or so cheaper. And remember that wineries and many retailers will give you an extra 10-15 percent off if you purchase a case.

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growing interest about organic wines -- and confusion, too. Mostly because there are so many different national and professional codes that spell out what is considered "organic" in terms of grape growing and winemaking practices around the world. Organic in the broadest sense identifies that the grapes were grown without chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or fertilizers. Vineyard managers across the globe have effectively found creative ways to farm their grapes, using beneficial plants, natural treatments and even wildlife, such as sheep, geese and chickens to remove leaves from the vines, keep harmful insects at bay and fertilize the soil as they work.

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To be certified organic, a vineyard must have been farmed organically for a minimum of three years. The inspection process also considers what surrounds the vines. For instance, an organic plot located besides another that is farmed conventionally might not pass because of the very real chance that chemical sprays can blow onto the organic vines.

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The vineyard is just the start of the process. The story of wine in the age of global warming increasingly includes tales of environmental stewardship, earth-friendly principles and holistic approaches to grape growing as well as winemaking and marketing.

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