Less is more

A more considered approach to wine and winemaking is a lesson in appreciation of the environment but also a special treat for the palate. Here are some of Daniel Kemp’s suggestions. 

01 Chêne Bleu Astralabe 2015 Ventoux, France, $55
A handcrafted and fully biodynamic grenache/syrah blend from a very special piece of land in Ventoux, Southern Rhône Valley. While small-production artisan wines are often held
at the mercy of difficult vintages, and volumes and availability tend to plummet, Chêne Bleu were blessed with a dream growing season in 2015. The Chêne Bleu property was designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings, and sustainability is practised at every level of the winemaking process.

02 Honoro Vera Organic Monastrell 2016 Jumilla, Spain, $22.50
Though it’s been a major wine region for centuries, the full potential is only now being realised in Jumilla, which was afflicted by phylloxera in the 1980s but has since been extensively replanted and is arguably producing some of the most exciting (and best value) wine in Spain. The dry and hot growing conditions are ideal for Monastrell, the Spanish name for Mourvèdre, an aromatic red varietal that produces robust reds. 

03 Cullen Diana Madeline 2016 Margaret River, Western Australia, $158
The Cullen family were Australia’s original pioneers of organics and biodynamics, following the principles on establishment of their Willyabrup vineyard in the 1960s, a time when almost nobody in this part of the world was even talking about sustainability. They’ve established a legendary reputation over the years, producing not only award-winning and elegant chardonnay, but also the world-renowned flagship wine, the Diana Madeline Bordeaux blend. It’s a limited-release wine that always sells out quickly. 

04 Pyramid Valley Calrossie Pinot Noir 2016 Marlborough, $45
Mike and Claudia Weersing’s Pyramid Valley project has always been much like a New Zealand equivalent of Cullen, as they sought to introduce biodynamic principles to an industry that wasn’t really thinking about them. Expanding from their home block in North Canterbury to work with their favourite micro-sites from around New Zealand under the Growers Collection label, the Calrossie Pinot Noir comes from a biodynamic single vineyard. This is not a typical Marlborough pinot noir and shows all the creativity and personality that comes from an artisan winemaker’s touch.

Great Little Vineyards focus on supplying wines that are not only consistently high quality, but also show respect for the environment. These are a few examples of how drinking less from higher quality and sustainable producers can equate to respect for the environment and a lower carbon footprint for everyone.

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