Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Divine Combination - Olives and Wine from an Organic Vineyard in Cadiz

See the post at The Green Earth Guides about divine organic wine and olive oil from the Lijar mountains in Cadiz Spain...not to be missed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New York Times Weighs in on Natural Wines

Here is a link to an article in the New York Times from June 14th about recent criticism of Natural Wines. Author Eric Asimov weighs in with excellent points- kudos to Eric.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Viña Ilusion - Deep Red Organic Wine that is Fortunately not an Illusion

I will admit that the beautiful label is why this wine caught my eye. Viña Ilusion, viticultura ecologica, sits on twelve acres of land that has been tended to since 1992 with an eclectic mix of philosophies based on the works of Masanobu Fukuoka, author of the One Straw Revolution and proponent of what he referred to as Natural Farming, Permaculture with similarities to Fukuoka's ideas based on working within natural ecosystems, and Rudolf Steiner's biodynamic farming.

The vineyard, set amidst olive, almond and oak trees on the slopes of Mount Isasa in La Rioja region of Spain, is both certified organic by the La Rioja organic certification association and the wine carries the Rioja Denomination of Origen. In addition to their environmental and natural farming practices, Viña Ilusion has solar electric panels and passive solar heating in keeping with their commitment to earth stewardship.

This organic wine has a deep currant flavor and costs under 7 euros. It is available around Spain - I found my bottle at L'Hortet in the Russafa neighborhood of Valencia.

Viña Ilusion, M.A. Alonso Etayo, 26584 Navarrsotillo; Tel:  941 742 082 and 619 943 798; Email: vino@vinailusion.com

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flor Organic Beer

I am not much of a beer drinker anymore except for when I taste-test organic varieties, but Flor beer is a winner in my book. Brought me happily back to my younger days. It has substance but not too much and a nice taste - not too twangy but refreshing and basically keeps you wanting another sip.

Flor organic beer is made in Las Mesas between Albacete and Madrid. Using traditional methods, Flor is produced from organic malted barley, organic hops, yeast and water fermented in the bottle without filtration so there is some sediment at the bottom of the bottles. 

Flor is certified organic by the CAE of Valencia and is available in health food stores in the Valencia region. In Valencia city you can find it at the health food stores Esencial and Herboristeria Russafa, as well as many others.

Cervezas Ecologicas Entresendas, Ctra. De El Pedernoso, Km. 3.6, 16650 Las Mesas (Cuenca); Tel: 607 707 932; Email: info@entresendas.com; Web: www.entresendas.com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Organic Moon Beer in Spain

It is beer not wine for this little post - check out the Traveling Naturally Green Earth Guides blog to see the post about Organic micro-brewed beer in Spain.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bodegas Los Pinos: First Organic Vineyard in Valencia

In Fontanars dels Alforins about two miles from the organic vineyard Bodegas Los Frailes, is the Bodegas Los Pinos, an organic vineyard on almost one hundred and fifty acres. Farmed since 1863, the land has been organically cultivated since 1990, and was the first organic vineyard in Valencia.

Bodegas Los Pinos make eight wines, a number of which have won international awards. White Salvatge and White Barrique are both made with Sauvignon Blanc and Moscatel Petit Grain grapes. Their Rose Salvatge is made with 100% Grenache grapes. Their five red wines (vino tinto) are Red Salvatge made with Monastrell and Cabernet Franc grapes; Red Barrique made with Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; Red Crianza made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Monastrell; Olaechea Crianza made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Monastrell; Reserva made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc; and Los Pinos 0% made with Garnacha, Monastrell and Syrah with no sulphites and with indigenous yeasts. 

You can visit the vineyard and the beautiful surroundings referred to as the "Tuscany of Spain" which lies about sixty-five miles southwest of Valencia city.

Bodegas Los Pinos, Casa Los Pinos, 46635 Fontanares (Valencia); Tel: 962 222 090; Email: bodegaslospinos@bodegaslospinos.com; Web: www.bodegaslospinos.com

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bodegas Enguera - Organic Wines from the "Tuscany of Spain"

Bodegas Enguera is a relatively new winery, founded in 1999, with almost four hundred acres of vineyards spread over two areas – one in Fontanars dels Alforins and the other in Enguera, both about an hour southwest of Valencia city in the province of Valencia. While Bodegas Enguera practices organic agriculture in their vineyards only two of their eleven wines are certified organic – the Benali made with Monastrell and Syrah grapes and the Cañada Negra made with Tempranillo and Syrah grapes. Cañada Negra won a medal at the annual organic wine show in France this year –Millesime-Bio 2010. Other grape varieties grown are Garnacha Tintorera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Verdil, a local white variety specific to the Alforins valley, an area referred to as the “Tuscany of Spain.”  

Bodegas Enguera is one of eight wineries in the Valencia region that contribute to the making of a special wine called Junts. The proceeds from this wine go to support the aid work in India of La Fundación Vicente Ferrer. The Junts label says, “40% Solidaridad, 40% Ilusion, y 20% Amistad.” Translated this means 40% Solidarity, 40% Hope, 20% Friendship. See the blogs posts for Aranleon and Bodegas des Frailes for other contributing organic wineries. 

You can visit Bodegas Enguera Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 am to 1:00pm/4:00 to 6:00 pm, Wednesdays only in the morning, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. 

Bodegas Enguera, Carretera CV-590, Km 51.5, 46810 Enguera, Valencia; Tel: 961 364 166; Email: bodega@pppardo.com; Web: www.bodegasenguera.com

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Passionate e Organic in Italia

Mattia Barzaghi, a passionate and dedicated viticulturist and vintner, makes six organic wines and one brandy on two-hundred and fifty protected acres tucked away a few kilometers from San Gimignano in glorious Tuscany. The grapes, hand-harvested, are Vernaccia- a grape unique to the San Gimignano area and grown there for hundreds of years- and Sangiovese an ancient Italian variety. 

Of the six wines Mattia carefully crafts, four are DOCG certified meaning that the wines are made by a special process and have passed a chemical and taste review. These wines are:
Impronta – Vernaccia de San Gimignano
Zeta - Vernaccia de San Gimignano
Cassandra - Vernaccia de San Gimignano Reserva
Zingaro- Chianti 

Two of the six wines are designated as IGT, certifying that at least 85% of the grapes used are grown locally/regionally, which of course they are because Mattia only uses grapes from his organic vineyard in his wines. Mattia’s IGT designated wines are Sorriso – Rosato di Toscana  and Sciamano – Sangiovese. 

Mattia also makes a grappa –a brandy made from the pomace (skins, seeds & stems) of the grapes. He calls this Firefly – grappa di Sangiovese. 

Mattia’s wines are filled with his passion and care that he takes in managing the terroir of his vineyards and farm. For a complete experience you can stay at Il Caggio, the rural eco- accommodation Mattia runs with his artist wife Cassandra, where you can rent one of four holiday apartments, drink Mattia’s wine, and eat the organic food produced on the farm including olives, jams and meats. Cassandra designs the labels for the wines and her art studio can be found in the town of San Gimignano. 

For anyone traveling to Tuscany- this is an experience not to be missed!

Il Caggio, Azienda Agricola Zeta project di Mattia Barzaghi, Localita San Donato, 13, 53037 San Gimignano, ITALY; Tel: 577 941 501; Email: info@mattiabarzaghi.com