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Planet Grape Wine Review's Top Ten Green Wines

Wines that are “green”, or earth-friendly, are wines made in one of these three regulated tiers, Sustainable, Organic, and Biodynamic, or SOB.

A hot new category is “natural” wines, the idea being wines free of any harmful additives, but unfortunately the term “natural” on wine has no legal parameters. I will address this category in a future column.

- Sustainable farming is an all-encompassing, holistic approach, where plants, animals and humans are interconnected and respected, and where resources such as energy and water come from within the closed circle as much as possible. In California, SIP Certified is widely used, with Lodi Rules and Napa Green certifications mainly used in those regions.


- Organic as a word applied to wine has to be studied closely, as there are organically grown grapes, and then there are organically processed grapes. Most wines labeled as “organic” are made with clean grapes but may have additives and preservatives in them from processing, or winemaking. In California, CCOF is the certifying board for organically grown grapes. Look for an official certifying credential on the back label of any wine that says “organic” on the front.

- Biodynamic farming works with the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon and planets, and has zero tolerance for anything other than natural additives at any point in the growing of the grapes or of the processing them into wine. Demeter is one certifying board, but again, look to the back label to be sure there is an official credential.


Planet Grape Wine Review’s Top Ten Green Wines


2018 Yealands Estate Sauvignon Blanc Block S1 Awatere Valley Marlborough New Zealand $29.99
Juicy, savory, fresh and dry with notes of lemon zest, guava, starfruit, fresh tarragon, coriander seed and sea spray. PALM BAY IMPORTS/TAUB FAMILY

2017 McIntyre Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands Monterey California $28
Beautifully balanced with both creaminess and tingly freshness and notes of lemon curd, honeycomb, graham cracker and buttercream frosting. WINERY DIRECT

2018 Halter Ranch Rose Adelaida District Paso Robles California $28
Fresh, juicy and dry with notes of pink grapefruit, raspberry, nectarine, watermelon and pink rose. WINERY DIRECT

2017 Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir Edna Valley Central Coast California $20
Rich and vibrant, fresh and dry with notes of cherry cola, mint, vanilla and violet. WINERY DIRECT

2016 Wrath Syrah San Saba Monterey California $39
Full, luscious and supple with notes of blueberry, boysenberry, sage leaf, mushroom, espresso bean and dark chocolate. WINERY DIRECT

2016 St. Amant Old Vine Zinfandel Mohr-Fry Ranch Lodi California $18
Very rich, full, intense and dry with a light chewiness and notes of strawberry, blueberry, gala apple and peach, cumin, clove, coriander seed, mushroom and dried flowers. WINERY DIRECT



2017 Anatolikos Vineyards Malgousia Assyrtiko Wild Ferment Thrace Northern Greece $45
Organic, unfiltered and intensely aromatic. Lightly chalky, fresh and dry with notes of honeydew, peach, passion fruit, white rose and lilac. ATHENEE IMPORTS

2016 Villa Maria Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Hawke's Bay New Zealand $17
Supple, lightly chewy and tart with notes of cassis, black olive, dark chocolate and maple wood. STE. MICHELLE WINE ESTATES



2018 Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigare Blanc Central Coast California $20

Lean, tart, fresh and dry with notes of lemon, mango, starfruit, just ripe pineapple, thyme and pine needle. WINERY DIRECT

2016 The McNab by Bonterra McNab Ranch Mendocino California $55
Ripe, chewy and dry Cabernet-Petite Sirah blend with notes of blackberry, cassis, moss, cedar and salumi. WINERY DIRECT


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