A few weeks ago, I took a group of NYU students (in the area for a sustainable agriculture spring break) to Honig Vineyard and Winery in Rutherford. That’s Napa county, for you out-of-towners. It was really interesting to see all the steps they’re taking to be environmentally responsible:
- Planting cover crops for soil health and pest control
- Producing enough solar power on the vineyard to run the meters backwards
- Using hawks and owls to keep the rodent population at bay
- Using bio diesel in their tractors
Honig isn’t organic; organic wines must not contain sulfites, so they’re generally less shelf stable and can’t travel far — not so cool for winemakers trying to get their names out. But, it seems to me like they’ve figured out that being green can be profitable. So kudos to them!
Also, the cover crops that they plant between rows are totally gorgeous. The Honig vineyard is separated from a conventional vineyard by a small path, and it’s amazing just to see the difference. Flowers that protect the soil and look beautiful? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Of course, this coming from a winemaker who’s had to give up some personal greenie values in favor of price and convenience. Sigh…
Anyway, the Honig wines were delish, especially the two Sauvignon Blancs. The Napa Valley SB was really unique and kind of mysterious for a white. The Rutherford (Estate) SB was completely different and had a finish that tasted like sugar cookies.
Check out the label: