ALISTAIR GIBSON: Perfect wines to toast this wonderful world on Earth Day
Today is Earth Day, a day started in 1970 in the United States to focus on the environment and the impact mankind has on our planet.
Events are held worldwide with more than a billion new people taking part, making it the largest civil observance in the world.
Many wine producers around the globe now follow a deep respect for the environment, working in partnership with nature, whether it is with a sustainable, organic or biodynamic approach.
Many New Zealand wineries are trying to, or have succeeded, in making their operations carbon neutral.
South Africa has an incredibly successful biodiversity.
And wine initiatives and organic and biodynamic wine production in many regions of France are becoming more and more widespread.
So here are a few wines to drink on Earth Day and hopefully beyond.
Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery and it has had for many years a sustainable viticulture programme and was one of the first producers to make organic wine in Australia.
They are also Australia’s viognier experts and Yalumba Organic Viognier 2015, S. Australia (Waitrose £9.99, Ocado £9.99 but on offer for £7.49 until May 16) is a lovely example of this perfect spring wine.
Unoaked, this is really fragrant with notes of spring blossom and apricots, followed by a silky texture and a touch a spice with a fresh, juicy finish.
Try this with an Asian stir-fry or just a refreshing aperitif.
The Rhone Valley has long been a source of sustainable and organically-produced wine.
Try Cotes du Rhone Les Abeilles Rouge 2014, Jean-Luc Colombo (winerack.co.uk £8.99)
Respect for nature and sustainable approaches to vineyard management and winemaking is key to the family’s green philosophy.
Indeed, Les Abeilles (the bees) is named in honour of the important role that bees play in pollinating their vineyards.
This is a blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre. It’s full-bodied with red and black fruits, spice and dried herbs, with a rich, ripe mouth feel, making it quite a modern style.
It would be worth decanting this before you serve it.
It’s good value and wouldbe ideal with some lamb or beef on the barbecue.
Emiliana Natura Carménère 2015, Colchagua Valley (oddbins.com £8.75) is produced by Emiliana, South America’s largest producers of organic wines.
This was aged in French oak for six months. It has red fruits, spices, a touch of mocha and herb, before a ripe, smooth palate.
Reyneke Estate is one of South Africa’s few biodynamic wine farms. It makes some of the Cape’s best wines and, I have to be honest, it’s one of my favourite vineyard locations in the world.
Reyneke Syrah 2014, Stellenbosch (Hermitage Cellars £13.65) is one of the purest examples of this grape you could ever wish to taste. A perfect match to celebrate Earth Day.