Reflections on Drinking Local Wines

The Carbon Footprints of Wines
The Carbon Footprints of Wines



Reflections on Drinking Local Wines

If you think, we in Texas are alone in the battle to gain visibility and respectability for our local wines, check out these sites across America that highlight the increasing movement toward drinking local wines……Drink and support your local growers and winemakers.

The carbon footprint of wine
Posted on April 22nd, 2009 Saver Queen

Although I enjoy drinking fine frugal wines, I’ve never considered the carbon footprint of wine – until now.  According to Dr. Vino, National Geographic just published a diagram that illustrates the carbon footprint of wine by region. 

The results are a bit surprising – it shows that it is actually far better for a New Yorker to drink wine produced in France, Chili, or even Australia than in California.  Why? Because wine produced in the US is shipped by truck or plane, instead of boat.  The minute your wine gets onto a truck or a plane, the carbon emissions escalate. As a recent article in the NY times explains, glass is the main culprit, adding mass.  Wine stored in tetra-packs can be packed much more efficiently. However, as Josh pointed out to me, tetra-packs require more energy to recycle than glass.

The best solution is to drink local wines.  Living in Guelph means that my lowest carbon emitting wines would come from the Niagara region, Pelee Island, and the small wine producing region surrounding Port Perry.  I’m guessing that the next best solution would be to buy from New York State.  For international wines, France is probably the best choice.

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Drink Local Wine – Who doesn’t like low carbon footprint wine?
From City Renewed – The DC areas most comprehensive Green Resource Guide at:

If you love wine but you can’t move to Sonoma, don’t fret, wine country isn’t far away. Just south of DC, in the valleys and rolling hills of Virginia lie some great vineyards. If you drink Virginia wine, you can sleep well in the knowledge that barrels of fuel weren’t used to ship it from the west coast to your glass. In addition, many Virginia wines are grown using organic and sustainable methods.

To find a listing of local vineyards with information about the wines they grow, visit

Posted by: sheepherder on The Washington Post online| May 28, 2009 7:26 AM

If the WP (Washington Post) keeps him (Dave McIntyre), he needs to concentrate more on VA and MD wines and throw in East Coast wines for good measure. At least one column a month should concentrate on local wines only. You have more than enough material for 3 local wine columns a month and tastings. With all hoopola over eating local the Food section of the WP needs to get with it and concentrate on local wines along with local produce, local cheese and local meat especially locally raised lamb! And lets not forget the stock dogs that work local livestock. Nothing beats watching a a good herding dog moving 500+ sheep and lambs on beautiful spring morning with fog just lifting.

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Girls know how to have fun!

GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT 07 Chardonnay, Lake Erie North Shore; 07 Merlot Lake Erie North Shore; 07 Rosé Ontario. All $12.95

Good local wines usually appears one at a time. No winery has wowed us with a line up of white, red and rosé that really deliver for the price. But this has changed with the launch of Colio’s GIRLS’ NIGHT OUT.

The first thing to know about this new brand is that the wine quality lives up to its creativity. This is one time to take the bait. Sup it up and date these girls.

The un-oaked Chardonnay is bright, fresh, fruity and is a perfect house white. Girls’ Merlot (also un-oaked) is light and juicy, and invites pizza, pasta and all everyday foods. The dry Rosé feels like a relative of both the white and red –- just as it should.

There is not a better trio of local wines to be had for the price.


What I also like about these wines is the genuine local personality. They’re moderate in richness and alcohol, with emphasis on bright flavours and refreshment. Totally unlike anything from Chile or Australia. The Girl’s Night Out lineup make ideal house wines. Congrats to the folks at Colio for delivering fun and quality. All three wines are VQA –- the white and red are from Lake Erie North Shore.

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Ontario’s Hottest New Wine Country Experience!
Jun 5, 2009 11:31:00 AM

Canada’s first ever Wine Country Run, in Niagara’s Twenty Valley next week, is a must for both wine lovers and runners alike.

By taking part in the 1/2 marathon, 10K or 4K walk, participants will experience Ontario’s Wine Country like never before. On Saturday June 13th and Sunday June 14th runners and walkers of all abilities are invited to explore the region’s marvelous vineyards and taste premium VQA wines from twelve of the area’s participating wineries in three different ways over two days. 

Expecting over 3,000 race participants, weekend celebrations start on Saturday at 11am with the Runner’s Expo at Beamsville Centennial Arena where runners and race supporters will be able to sample amazing local wines along with delicious food throughout the day and into the evening’s BBQ. Twenty Valley Tourism and participating wineries will be providing complimentary shuttles throughout the day to ensure visitors soak in the stunning scenery and panoramic views as they tour wineries along the race route. A 4-star concierge service will be on site that day ready to advise visitors on wine routes and help book dinner and accommodation reservations.

“This is an event that captures the essence of Twenty Valley’s wine culture. It is unique, green, unpretentious, and designed to enjoy at your own pace” says AJ McLaughlin, Chair of Twenty Valley Tourism Association and Tourism Committee Chair for WCO.

On Sunday, Race Day starts at different times and locations but all participants will have equal opportunity to absorb their beautiful surroundings as they travel along the picturesque course and stop for wine tasting at stations set up along the way.

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Illinois State Fair Competition Showcases Local Wines
Posted in FOOD & DRINK to Wine Punk by Samuel R. Vandegrift

Over 250 wines competed for medals at the Illinois State Fair Competition held at Bevier Hall on the University of Illinois campus. The judges assessed entries using a predetermined rubric. While each of the 12 judges added their own professional wine experience and personal taste to the process, this scorecard allowed objective comparisons between wines of different styles, sweetness and ingredients.

The following wines received Governor’s Cup Gold medals at the 2008 competition. That means they represent the best wines grown in Illinois from their category. Receiving a gold medal is not what makes these wines worth trying. They all have unique personality, and I can tell you that each one is delicious. Think of this list as a starting place to begin your own love affair with Illinois wines. Some of these are available at retailers, but purchasing most requires a trip to the winery. Don’t be shy.

Prairie State Illini Cabernet Franc 2007 (Genoa, Illinois)
Not much Cab Franc is grown in Illinois, but look out for more awesome wines from this grape in the coming years. Dusty raspberry, bright cherry and earthy mocha notes on the nose give way to ripe tannin, impeccable balance and a long, rewarding finish. Perfect herbal and smoke notes add depth to already delicious berry fruit in the mouth. I plan on adding a case of this dry red to my cellar this summer.

Blue Sky Vineyard Seyval Blanc 2007 (Anna, Illinois)
Seyval often produces wines compatible with Riesling-lover tastes. This is a light, crisp summer white that balances pear and floral aromas with green apple in the mouth. Delicate pineapple notes fill the finish. This is as dry as your average Pinot Grigio.

Lynfred Seyval 2007 (Roselle, Illinois)
Lynfred is one of our urban wineries that buys fruit from growers instead of managing their own vineyard. This is sweet and tropical, drinks like a Spätlese and never winds up too sweet. I see this as a perfect partner to all manner of southwestern-style foods. My peppers are just about ripe, and this would help balance the salty-cilantro-hot of homemade salsa.

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Ohio’s Lake Erie Wineries: Lake and Ashtabula County Gems
By Sandy Mitchell,

Crisp and complex, light and flavorful, Ohio’s Lake Erie wines captivate residents and visitors alike. Protected from the harshest weather by the lake’s summer breezes and insulating winter warmth, the narrow strip known as the Northeast Ohio “Wine and Vine” Trail produces excellent cool weather wines, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris as well as award-winning Icewines. This area features nineteen wineries, scenic water views, covered bridges, and much more to delight visitors.

Ohio has a long history of wine production. As early as the 1800s, settlers were exploring winemaking in Ohio, mostly along the Ohio River, near present-day Cincinnati. They planted Catawba grapes and produced a light semi-sweet wine, distinctly different from the European-style wines, popular during that time. The fledging Ohio wine industry thrived, and by 1845 Ohio was producing over 300,000 gallons annually. Shortly before the Civil War, Ohio was the largest wine producing state in the union. All that changed during the Civil War, however. Manpower was scarce and neglect allowed disease and mildew to destroy most of the region’s grape vines.

At the same time the southern Ohio wine district was floundering, a new wine area emerged – along the Lake Erie shore, in northern Ohio. German immigrants, who were flocking to that area in the late 1800s, brought German winemaking techniques with them, and that, combined with the unique lake climate, produced some excellent wines. Wineries popped up from the Lake Erie Islands, near Sandusky, all the way east to the Pennsylvania border. This narrow strip became known as the “Lake Erie Grape belt.”

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  1. mediaguru
    2009-06-06 01:24 am UTC (link) Select
    Yeah, but that’s not the best solution for an experience.

    There are great wines all over the world, to be sure… but a true wine lover would want to drink something based on its quality (often based on where it came from), not based on locality. By that argument, if the local crops are corn and tomatoes, should you avoid avocados altogether?

    I’m all for doing as much local as you can (as well as celebrating local communities — but this also includes: a) not shopping at Wal-Mart; b) not going to Starbucks; c) not going to any other chain restaurant store or restaurant, which are NOT sourced locally but get their goods from an external distributor)

    … but I’m also all for broadening horizons and experiencing the world (even if it’s just in your glass)

    Drink Local Wine
    2009-06-06 02:36 am UTC (link) Select
    Yes, but do not overlook local just because it is local.

    Fresh, local terroir is something to be nurtured, savored and charished.

    We have far too long been dictated the norms by the gurus of the media and gastronomy and told to worship things only of remote foreign places. It is good to understand the some things closer to one’s home can also be delicious, but one has to take the time to seek, understand, nurture and only then savor.

    Drink Local Wines…..P.S.
    2009-06-06 02:59 am UTC (link) Select
    By the way, if you are impressed by such stuff, local wines are also winning awards in national and international competitions when pitted against well known and worthy labels.

    Check out our experience in Texas versus the French, California, New Zealand and others:

    Shoot Out at the O.K. “Wine” Corral –

    Judgement of Houston –

    Texas wines are doing quite well on a quality scale.

    Similar results are coming from other locales as well. Some people just can’t get themselves to admit it!

  2. “There is not a better trio of local wines to be had for the price.”

    I completely disagree. Lake Erie North Shore has such amazing cool climate wines at great prices, that California cannot compete on price or quality. Their unoaked Chardonnays and Pinots are truely Burgundian, and all are well below $20. The Chardonnays are crisp and offer green apple flavors, not tropical fruit. Colio isn’t my favorite winery there. For what I have found to be the most compelling wines in the appellation, check out Sprucewood Shores in Harrow, Ontario. But the consistent level of quality of almost all of the wineries in the region continues to amaze me.

  3. I was born and raised on the south shore of Lake Erie, but it has been a long time since I left to become a naturalized Texan.

    Thanks for your alternative opinions….it just proves that there are a lot of good local wines.

    Keep drinking local wines. They are a mystery and there are some interesting gems.

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