Eco Wine Review: Cline Cellars 2010 Cool Climate Pinot Noir

Cline Cellar's 2010 Cool Climate Pinot Noir is bursting with red fruit aromas and--thanks to some lovely French oak--just enough vanilla to make it interesting. It's healthy and acidic, but it never feels heavy handed. And with its minty finish, you won't mind a second glass. Which isn't a bad thing as this Pinot is just shy of $20. All in all, the wine tastes like a cherry cough drop but in a good way. Seriously, this wine is good medicine!

It pairs nicely with mushroom-based recipes, like risotto or if you are adventurous, replace the rosemary in one of your favorite pasta dishes with some lavender instead. You will really taste that mint then. And the wine is not only vegetable-friendly, it is also vegan.

Owner Fred Cline said to me, "Just because you have pests, doesn't mean you have to get rid of them. We don't want to farm in a sterile environment." For example, they use cover crops such as barley and oats to provide a haven for beneficial insects such as Predator Mites instead of synthetic pesticides. The winery is also 100-percent solar-powered, as is its sister winery, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. The system produces 411 kilowatts, reducing the winery's carbon footprint by 690,000 pounds of CO2 each year. You can learn more about Cline's sustainable practices at Green String Institute.

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