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With sustainability becoming such an important by-word for everyday life, it is perhaps understandable that it is filtering through into the wine world. Sustainable winemaking is quite a broad-ranging philosophy (also known as ‘la lutte raisonnée’ in France) and effectively means the production of wine in an environmental and ecological manner, both in the vineyard and the winery. Measures include the conservation of water, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the promotion and maintenance of soil health and fertility with minimal use of chemicals and fertilisers.
Please see below a selection of sustainable wines from our portfolio:
Donnafugata 'Sul Vulcano' Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese 2016
Taking its name from the high-altitude vineyards on the northern slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna, the soils here are rich in mineral deposits with a natural porosity that allows for strong root growth. Marking the first vintage of this wine, made from the indigenous Nerello Mascalese grape, this light-bodied red has vibrant wild red berry aromas, hints of sweet cinnamon spice and floral notes. The palate is defined by fine-grained tannins, lively acidity and an earthy minerality.
This wine comes from the indigenous Areni variety grown on ungrafted rootstocks planted at high altitude on hills facing Mount Ararat. Fermentation with wild yeasts in concrete vats is followed by ageing in “Karas” (traditional clay amphorae) some of which are buried below ground, enhancing the complexity of the wine. Spiced red fruits on the nose are interwoven with dried mountain herbs and an earthy savouriness, with supple chalky tannins and a minerally graphite finish.
Fruit for this single-vineyard wine came from the beautiful Gabriëlskloof estate near the Bot River east of Cape Town. With a wild ferment and a proportion of whole-cluster fermentation matured for 18 months in a combination of barrique and large oak barrels, this is a plush, spicy Syrah. Dark berry fruit and savoury herbal notes of tapenade and fynbos are completed by juicy tannins on a long, fine finish.
The emphasis at this domaine is very much on sustainability: the vineyards are organic or in the process of conversion, the winery uses gravity flow to process the grapes, with minimal SO2 additions and wild yeast fermentation with no fining. This Chablis is crisp and dry, with lifted citrus fruit aromas giving way to a palate beautifully framed by refreshing acidity on a long, minerally finish. This is the first vintage of this wine to be sold in the UK.
Winemaker Stephanie Toole restricts production to achieve her aims of quality and single-vineyard expression and follows a fully integrated organic approach to wine making. Using only free-run juice, this 100% barrel-fermented Semillon is bright and aromatic with complex notes of apple offset by layers of toasty, savoury spice from the oak. Framed by a lovely acidity, this is an elegant, serious wine and as Stephanie says, is a ‘handmade food wine’.
Cullen 'Red Moon' Mangan Vineyard 2017
The philosophy of this certified biodynamic, carbon neutral and naturally powered winery is ‘Quality, Integrity and Sustainability’. This dry-farmed blend from the Wilyabrup subregion of the Margaret River perfectly balances the fruit power of the Malbec with the texture of the Petit Verdot and the structure of the Merlot. Lifted floral notes accompany the dark fruit profile of the nose and palate with aromas of plum giving way to dark cherry, blueberry and savoury notes on the finish. Fine tannins and well-balanced acidity round out the palate.