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April 2012

Quick Bite:
Naturally Delicious
Written By: 
Claire Cunningham
Photography By: 
Drew Somerville

More and more wineries are getting in touch with Mother Nature with organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking practices. Taste the difference with these varieties.


(Left to right)

M. Chapoutier “Monier de la Sizeranne” 2005 (Hermitage, France), $135: Hermitage wines date back to the 17th century, but M. Chapoutier uses progressive biodynamic farming techniques to grow their vintage grapes. Farmed using non-chemical fertilizers, herbal treatments, and healthy insect life, this syrah is round and elegant with gentle tannins, red fruit, licorice, and flavors of oak.

Alvaro Palacios “Finca Dofi” 2004 (Priorat, Spain), $165: Alvaro Palacios acquired his first vineyard site, Finca Dofi, in 1990 and while he now has several vineyards, it’s one of his most acclaimed. This blend of garnacha, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah fruits comes from 20-year-old vines cultivated using the cycles of the sun and moon.

Maysara Winery “Three Degrees” 2009 (McMinnville, Oregon), $35: All of the Momtazi vineyards are 100 percent biodynamically farmed. The winery keeps animals and many types of plant-life on the property to contribute to fertilizating and air purification and to keep insects away from the vines. This new pinot noir has bright cherry and licorice flavors.

Robert Sinskey “POV” 2007 (Los Carneros, Napa Valley, California), $60: With a belief that what you take from the land you must give back, Robert Sinskey Vineyards is a certified biodynamic and organic operation that uses animals to fertilize the land and keep it manicured.One of the results is “POV,” a ruby-tinged wine with flavors of blueberry, cassis, vanilla, and wild fennel.

Nicolas Joly “Coulée de Serrant” 2009 (Savennieres, France), $89: Nicolas Joly is a pioneer in biodynamic winemaking and has written several books on the subject. His family estate started converting to the practice in 1980, and this small production of chenin blanc is said to be one of the world’s greatest dry white wines.




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<p>
Photographs courtesy of (POV) Robert Sinskey &amp; (Coulee de Serrant) Nicolas Joly</p>

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