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Korbel, Guerneville: The Korbel brothers first made wine in 1882. Since then, their sparklers (aka "California Champagne") have become a standard on dining tables across the country. The winery is one of the few national producers of a 100 percent organic sparkler. Their estate vineyard is sustainably grown and the winery utilizes eco-friendly practices throughout: from reusing fell redwood trees for buildings to water saving practices in vineyards and estate gardens. Even the bottle that you pour from is made from post-consumer recycled glass. When visiting the winery, enjoy a free tour of the historic property followed by a tasting, then get lunch at their gourmet deli surrounded by redwood trees. 13250 River Rd., Guerneville, 707-824-7000, korbel.com.
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Wine to try: Korbel Brut Made with Organically Grown Grapes ($15.99): Korbel has been producing reasonably priced sparklers for 130 years and their organic sparkling wine is a great opportunity to be eco and wallet conscious. Comprising French Colombard, sangiovese and chardonnay grapes from organically certified vineyards, it's a medium-dry wine that is bright and crisp with light flavors of Granny Smith apple, Asian pear and white peaches. Don't forget to recycle all the corks you pop!
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Kendall-Jackson, Fulton: Another big name in the wine world, Kendall-Jackson has is a leader in sustainable winemaking practices with the goal to "take big steps to leave small footprints." Eco-friendly practices include operating the largest solar powered generator in the wine industry, producing wines using one third less water than industry standards, and using 100 percent renewable energy. Visit the winery to learn about their winemaking practices and stroll the estate gardens that grow organic produce and flowers, and house bees and chickens - all of it thriving thanks to earth-friendly soil building, water conservation, and composting practices. 5007 Fulton Rd., Fulton, 866-287-9818, kj.com.
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Wine to try: Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve 2016 Monterey County Riesling ($13): Fear sweet wines? Don't shy away from this riesling, made with fruit from a 100 percent sustainable vineyard down south in Monterey County. Lemon zest, honeysuckle, and a lovely touch of apricot echo throughout this riesling, which leans toward the dry end, which will please the palate of those who are long-time fans of riesling, or new to trying it. It pairs perfectly with spicy chicken tikka masala or Szechuan cuisine.
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Three Sticks Wines, Sonoma: "Down to earth," is one of the values at Three Sticks Wines. This boutique winery produces allotted chardonnay and pinot noir from some of the most coveted vineyards in Sonoma County, including Durell and Gap's Crown, both of which are sustainably grown. Three Sticks is not only sustainable in the vineyards, but also in their historic preservation efforts. Wine tastings take place at the historic Vallejo-Casteñada Adobe in downtown Sonoma. Built in 1842, it's one of the longest occupied buildings in the state. The winery went through a two-year preservation project, working closely with local organizations to ensure the Adobe is here to stay. 143 W Spain St, Sonoma, Appointments required, 707-996-3328, threestickwines.com.
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Wine to try: Three Sticks 2016 Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay ($50): This elegant chardonnay was crafted from the sustainably grown Durell Vineyard, one of the most coveted properties growing chardonnay and pinot noir in Sonoma County. The wine impresses with a rich body that dispels fears of "oak bombs," as it was aged in both concrete egg and stainless barrels. Lovely lemon, light brioche and a bold touch of minerality crosses the palate. Pair with lobster or a good movie.
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Quivira Vineyards, Healdsburg: Organic is the name of the game at Quivira. The winery, which creates "intentional wines, done naturally," specializes in sauvignon blanc, zinfandel, and a few Rhône surprises. The wines are made via low-input processes that focus on the fruit and terroir, rather than manipulation and winemaker control. Grapes are grown with the support of native cover crops, compost, and insect-eating animals. At the winery, guests can sip wine and peruse the property's organic gardens, beehives, a creek which spawns steelhead trout and coho salmon, and an animal farm complete with pigs, chickens and cows. 4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, 707-431-8333, quivirawine.com.
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Wine to try: Quivira 2017 Wine Creek Ranch Rosé ($22): One of the most unique rosé wines on the market right now, Quivira's organic pink is made from estate Rhône varietals including grenache, mourvédre, petite sirah, counoise, and syrah. Organic wine nerds unite, as you'll love the pomegranate and rhubarb that flow through this wine.
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Hess Collection, Napa: "Nurture the land and return what you take," is the vision the Hess Collection honors through their sustainable winemaking practices. The winery, which produces a wide variety of wines, including age-worthy cabernet sauvignon, was one of the first wineries to be certified sustainable in California. Hess uses a variety of sustainable practices throughout wine production process - from raptors and owls for pest control in the vineyard, to water-based label ink and recycled glass for their wine bottles. Their ivy covered historic winery offers not only fine wine tasting, but also fine art viewing. Their onsite gallery, which is free and open to the public, features a world-class contemporary art collection. 4411 Redwood Rd., Napa, 707-255-1144, hesscollection.com.
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Wine to try: Hess Collection Treo Winemaker's Red Blend 2014 ($19): "Easy to drink" is the simplest way to describe this red blend, comprising sustainably grown petite sirah, syrah, zinfandel, merlot, malbec, cabernet sauvignon, mourvèdre and carignan. That kitchen sink blend makes this a rich, bold, yet silky wine with notes of cherry and pomegranate. Prime table wine material.
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