When you think about celebrating Earth Month, what comes to mind? A) Cooking up a plant-based meal B) Planting a tree C) Sipping on a glass of wine.
If you chose D) All of the above, you’re on the right track. But if you’re thinking, “what the heck does wine have to do with environmentalism (other than toasting to the health of the planet)?” it’s all about supporting wineries that are committed to sustainability.
For the lowdown on how your favorite happy hour beverage impacts the environment, we asked sustainability expert Wen-Jay Ying, founder of Local Roots NYC to weigh in on the topic. “Wine is made from a fruit and anything that has a direct connection to our land has a huge impact on the environment,” Ying says. “Sustainable farming practices in vineyards help the environment because […] the soil is cared for, which means it is more resilient during moments of drought or water runoff.”
If you want to raise a glass that’s in line with Ying’s earth-loving parameters, look for a bottle that touts its sustainability efforts on the label—like Cavit wines.
“Wine is made from a fruit and anything that has a direct connection to our land has a huge impact on the environment.”
All 11 Cavit wine varietals—from pinot noir to moscato to Prosecco—are made using sustainable practices, like using natural fertilizers and a high-precision irrigation system that uses water only when necessary.
They also tap 3,200 solar panels to power 66 percent of the energy used in production to limit the Italian winery’s carbon footprint (which is pretty major, considering agricultural and other land use account for 24 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.)
And if we’re going to propose a toast to sustainable wine, of course there was a taste test involved. So pour yourself a glass, and keep reading to find out which varietal won tastiest and most sustainable sip.
Scroll down for 4 reasons to cheers to Mother Earth with a glass of sustainable wine.
More wine = more trees
Yes, tree planting is still the gold standard for celebrating Earth Month, and Cavit wines check that box too. To go above and beyond on the sustainability front for the month of April, Cavit teamed up with One Tree Planted. For every entry submitted, Cavit wines will plant a tree on your behalf in various locations across the U.S. All the eco brownie points, without ever having to get your hands dirty.
You want the grapes you buy from the farmers market to be grown as naturally as possible, so why not ask for the same level of eco-consciousness from your vino? (Wine is basically adult grape juice, after all.)
When Ying is shopping for sustainable foods and beverages, she notes that she keeps an eye out for a few different things, including natural ingredients and eco-friendly packaging. “It also feels important that the people making the wine care passionately about their work. It makes me feel even better about the purchase,” she says.
Checking off all these elements, Cavit’s wine bottles are made with 80 percent recycled glass, the cases are made with 99 percent recycled cardboard, and the labels and cases are printed using water-based, chemical-free ink. Plus, because Cavit is a cooperative, the grapes come from small farmers, many of whom have been growing grapes and caring for their families’ vineyards for generations—giving them an even bigger reason to preserve the land. Because don’t you take better care of something if it’s at your own home?
Crisp, fresh taste
Okay but how does it taste? It doesn’t matter how eco-friendly your libation is if you don’t actually enjoy drinking it, which is why we put Cavit wines to the test. In the name of research, I tried a few different varietals, and gave them a gold star for flavor, too.
My personal fave? The pinot grigio (and I’m usually a red-wine gal). It was perfectly crisp and just fruity enough with a bit of green apple tartness, making it the perfect wine to pair with dinner (plant-based mac and cheese, for example, if you want extra green points). Knowing each sip was sustainable made my happy hour even, well, happier.
Shopping sustainably can make a huge difference for the planet, but it can also tend to have a big effect on your wallet. The reality of sustainable products is that they often come with a steeper price tag—but not this wine. Cavit wines average about $10 per bottle, meaning you can imbibe happily without spending beyond your allotted wine budget.
Just because April will eventually come to an end, that doesn’t mean you can’t drink this wine all year round (the Cavit Moscato literally screams summer). Every month can be Earth month when your sustainability game—and oenophilia—is this on point.
Sponsored by Cavit wines
Photos: Cavit wines