As part of my Earth Month quest for all things sustainable in and around Portland this April, I had the good fortune to get a personal tour of a small, sustainably farmed Oregon vineyard--Tonnelier Vineyard. Owners Mike & Julie Slater showed me around their pinot noir planted (Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777 on Riparian stock, if you're really interested), south sloped, Willakenzie soil, 4-acre vineyard in the Willamette Valley’s Yamhill-Carlton AVA.
I saw the first bud break on the 2017 grapevines (pictured below). The Tonnelier Vineyard has been Low Input Viticulture and Enology (or "LIVE") certified since 2012.
LIVE is a rigorous, third-party certification process and a marker of the environmentally and socially responsible farming methods used to grow and harvest grapes. LIVE is certified internationally by the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) and implemented locally by a non-profit organization of Oregon winegrowers.
After the vineyard tour (capped with some yummy fromage and smoked salmon), we scooted over to one of the wineries where the Tonnelier grapes become wine--Bells Up Winery.
I'm not sure which I enjoyed most—touring the sustainable vineyard with Mike and Julie, tasting the wines (including a 3-year vertical of the Titan Pinot Noir), hearing Dave and Sara's story about building their winery and wines, or witnessing the magical partnership between a micro wine grower and wine maker. Altogether—a great way to experience earth’s bounty.
If I were pressed to pick only one favorite bottle from the Bells Up Winery collection, I'd have to go with the 2014 Villanelle Pinot Noir. It is a really special, limited edition reserve sourced solely from Tonnelier. Lots of dark berries with the smooth, silky finish you’d expect from a great Oregon Pinot Noir. But, don’t make me choose—they were all high quality wines.
If you're interested in an authentic, un-corporate, un-domaine sustainable Oregon Wine experience where you chat directly with the winemaker (and if you're lucky enough, the wine grower too) - make an appointment for your #BellsUpMoment @bellsupwinery.
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Happy Earth Month! It’s been 47 years since the first Earth Day events on April 22, 1970. Here at Corporate Sustainability Advisors, every day is Earth Day. We’re proud and honored to help companies and other organizations address their environmental impacts while growing thriving businesses and pursing their missions. Earth Month provides an opportunity for us to reflect on why we do what we do and how we can do better.
In many ways the imperative to understand and to act has never been greater. As we often do, we look back at the words of Rachel Carson for continued insight and inspiration. We see her attempts to sound the siren about the most pressing environmental issues of her day and see their truth and relevance to today’s challenges.
A couple examples:
Sound familiar? If Rachel were to have written those words in 2017, perhaps ‘pesticide applications’ and ‘insect controllers’ would be replaced with ‘fossil fuels’ and ‘fossil industry’.
We approach the one-year anniversary of the signing of the historic Paris Agreement (April 22, 2016) with escalating evidence of the economic, public health, and natural security risks from climatic changes. The Earth Day Network’s 2017 theme—environmental and climate literacy—seems particularly apt with so much anti-science charge in the atmosphere.
A couple more Rachel Carson quotes emphasize the importance of environmental literacy by the masses.
We encourage everyone—individuals, families, neighborhoods, businesses, and even government agencies—to read up on peer-reviewed climate science (or summaries if you don’t want to be in full-on geek mode).
For a very brief primer, here are ten undisputed facts with broad consensus in the scientific community and which many business leaders and government officials concur.
[Reference sources: NASA https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/, NOAA http://www.noaa.gov/climate, EPA https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/climate-change-basic-information, Climate Central http://www.climatecentral.org/what-we-do/our-programs/climate-science, IPCC https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf, UN http://unfccc.int/files/essential_background/convention/application/pdf/english_paris_agreement.pdf, FSB https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/16_1221_TCFD_Report_Letter.pdf]
We also encourage everyone to reflect on the natural and human-created resources that we rely on each day. What ways can you find to conserve, reuse, recycle—or even regenerate—these resources to help sustain our way of life for the near-term tomorrows and for future generations? The small (or large) steps you take matter. Act locally or globally. Just act.
If you’re a business leader or an employee wanting to take action – Earth Day and Month present great opportunities to start or boost your organization’s go green program. Today is always the best day to be more sustainable.
Thank you for reading this blog post. Here at Corporate Sustainability Advisors LLC blog and at LinkedIn, I regularly write about organizational, community, and personal sustainability. If you would like to read my future posts then please subscribe via the adjacent link. Also, feel free to connect via Twitter and Facebook.
Hi. I'm Colleen, Corporate Sustainability Advisor's founder and owner. Blogging about corporate sustainability trends, benefits, and best practices.