An "organic" label is one way to judge wine sustainability, but the life cycle impact of a bottle of red goes beyond that. Greenopia, a provider of independent green product ratings, released a comprehensive list of major wineries ranked in order of sustainability today, taking into account factors like growing practices, transportation, building logistics, and wine packaging.
Unsurprisingly, a certified organic winery--Alma Rosa--tied for first place. In addition to holding off on synthetic pesticides and fertilizer, the vineyard is one of the only premium wineries to use the same bottle design for all if its wines, thus cutting down on waste in bottle production. Alma Rosa's winery also features green building design techniques along with local, sustainable materials.
Non-organic, discount brands also topped the Greenopia list. Kendall Jackson is credited with practicing water conservation, using solar power, and putting recycled materials in its labels. And everyone's favorite boxed wine, Franzia, received kudos for its eco-friendly box design that keeps wine fresher for longer than bottles. But most of the highly ranked wines, including French Rabbit, Frog's Leap, and Demetria, aren't made for the alcohol-swilling college set.
Here's the full top 10 list:
1. Alma Rosa (3 out of 4 leaves)
2. French Rabbit (3 out of 4 leaves)
3. Frog's Leap (3 out of 4 leaves)
4. Benzinger (2 out of 4 leaves)
5. Demetria (2 out of 4 leaves)
6. Franzia (2 out of 4 leaves)
7. Grgich Hills (2 out of 4 leaves)
8. Bonny Doon (1 out of 4 leaves)
9. Cakebread (1 out of 4 leaves)
10. Kendall Jackson (1 out of 4 leaves)
[Photo:Mary-Louise Price ]