Featured Vineyards: Three Organic Wineries
Les Clefs du Caladas, Cotes du Rhone, France
A winery of distinctive heritage, the estate of Les Clefs du Caladas is in the heart of the Rhone Valley. Its wines are marked by fresh and beautifully high-toned fruit coupled with mouthwatering acidity. The wines are crafted with a deft, finesse driven style that is sure to delight.
Massif D’Uchaux Cote-du-Rhone-Villages 2019
The Massif D’Uchaux appellation is surrounded by pines and green oaks providing a good balance for a very active ecosystem. The vines, worked with patience, passion and tradition, offer grapes engorged with sun and scent, becoming fruity, spicy and wild at the same time. In 2008, the estate earned the esteemed Demeter biodynamic & organic certification. The beautiful Cote-du-Rhone Villages is 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. The wine is complex, intense and spicy, exuding refinement and elegance.
Markus Altenburger, Austria
“Only with time does one gain an appreciation for the fantastic and natural beauty of scraggly vine rows, in which all sorts of bees, butterflies, and beneficial species have reclaimed the upper hand.”
This quote from the winemaker summarizes the approach taken by this estate perched at the far eastern edge of Austria. Markus Altenburger has moved from what he calls “well-behaved” wines to those that are closer to nature and are more personally influenced by him. His vineyards are certified organic and in conversion to Demeter biodynamic. He farms with an eye to soil vitality and rampant biodiversity. In the cellar, he favors native yeasts, minimal added sulphur, long, protective lees contact, and concrete and neutral wood for aging.
Blaufrankisch 2019 “Vom Kalk”
His Blaufränkisch, a red grape with savory, mineraly and peppery flavors produces a very food friendly wine that vibrates with freshness and energy. Rich aromas of black currants and cherries with hints of lavender and spruce leap out of the glass of the “Vom Kalk” Blaufrankisch. An impressive deep dark red, this wine is balanced, focused and taut.
Brand Bros, Pfalz, Germany
The young Brand Bros are electrifying their little town in the far northern Pfalz, a cool-climate, limestone-rich, yet otherwise overlooked region of Germany. And they are doing so with huge smiles, a raucous joy – even downright excitement – in their role as stewards for the land. Their father, Jürgen, was one of the first advocates for environmentally conscious agriculture, joining an important organic organization in 1994. However, it wasn’t until the brothers came into the winery in 2014 that they made the transition to organic viticulture. Starting with vintage 2018, they are certified organic. They are also pursuing parts of the biodynamic philosophies, with the very real desire to understand and integrate its principles, without necessarily blindly following the ideology. Their vineyards are wild with a wide variety of floral and fauna the makes trips through them something like a garden tour.
Brand Wilder Satz 2019
The Brand Wilder Satz is a beautifully acidic white blend of Chardonnay, Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, Scheurebe and Sylvaner. It bursts with flavors of passion fruit, lychee, lime, apple , salt and a chalky minerality. The wine ferments on the skins for a bit giving it a slightly orange wine quality.
Brand Pet Nat
The Pet Nat is super fresh with flavors of granny smith apple, brioche, a good mix of minerality and fruit. Delicate bubbles with a fair amount of acidity and a great salty taste. 60% Pinot Blanc, 40% Sylvaner.