I was invited to attend a wine tasting at “Wine and Cheese If You Please” that took place on March 20th. The wines featured that evening were from the Kendall-Jackson Company. Within the company is a winery called Carmel Road. Carmel Road is located in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County. The wines produced are Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris. These were very pleasant tasting wines that should be terrific for summer. All of these wines are under $15.00.
The tasting featured a Bonus for all who attended. The winemaker from Carmel Road gave a short talk on Sustainability. Besides the wine itself, this is perhaps the hottest of hot issues in the wine industry today. Sustainability is defined as using methods, systems and materials that will not deplete or harm natural cycles. Sustainable developments are those which fulfill present and future needs while only using what is necessary, i.e. land, water. As it pertains to the wine industry, it refers to the vineyard, irrigation, elimination of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. This can be done and I have seen it done. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Certification Program says it best. “Increase the sustainability of the California wine industry by promoting the adoption of sustainable practices and ensuring continual improvement.” This is accomplished by having a third party, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Association, audit growers in regard to their stewardship of the land and water. The audit looks for improvement every year. Kendall-Jackson has, like many other vintners in California, the utmost respect for the environment. One visit to the Winery and you will see it firsthand. To date there are over 1500 wineries (62% of the state’s vineyard acreage) that have self-assessed their operations at over 200 workshops. This program is, and always will be, a “work-in-progress”.