Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Virginia Green Wineries

St. Patrick's Day may be over, but we're still thinking green this month at the Notebook.

Kermit once sang that it's not easy being green, but in the case of these wineries in the Commonwealth, being green is not only's a business decision. And we're not talking about green wine here (and this type of wine does exist...visit Morais Vineyards near Warrenton for proof of this!) We're referring to green, or clean, energy programs employed by the wineries for their tasting rooms and winemaking.

You may have seen the Virginia Green logo at several of these wineries. Virginia Green is the Commonwealth's campaign to promote environmentally-friendly practices in all aspects of Virginia’s tourism industry. Virginia Green Attractions have been thoughtfully planned and designed to minimize their impacts on the environment. This attraction has met the established “core activities” for Green Attractions and has committed to communicate its activities to its guests.

A simple criteria for being considered a green winery: The owners voluntarily minimize the environmental impacts of their operation, including:

A. Provide recycling and implement waste reduction practices.
B. Minimize the use of fertilizers and chemicals.
C. Reduce water and energy consumption over time.
D. Solar power and geothermal heating and air systems.
E. Composting all food waste and disposables from tasting rooms.
F. Stormwater collection systems that reuse water for flushing toilets and irrigation.
G. Winemaking that minimizes waste, water use, and energy needs for stabilization.
H. Recycling corks, and using bottles, corks, and packaging that minimize material uses and waste.

Our list contains 10 green wineries in Virginia.

1. Cooper Vineyards
This impressive, futuristic-looking tasting room in Virginia's Piedmont is quite an experience (and their award-winning wine is superb). Click here for Cooper's "green report card."

2. North Gate Vineyard
This favorite in Loudoun County, near Purcellville, is a great daycation spot for stressed out Northern Virginians. Click here for their green report card.

3. DuCard Vineyards
DuCard is located in a mountain "cove" near Madison. Uncork some Popham Run Red and tell them The Notebook sent you! DuCard's green report card: Click here.

4. Delaplane Cellars
Majestically located on the side of a Blue Ridge foothill, Delaplane offers beautiful views, great wine, and an impressive green report card (click here).

5. Sunset Hills Vineyard and 50 West Vineyards
These sister wineries, located near Purcellville and Middleburg in Loudoun County, respectively, offer examples of how large, events-driven wineries can go green. Click here for report card.

6. Philip Carter Winery
One of the most ambitious wineries in the state, "PC" Winery strives for excellence in everything it does. Click here for report card.

7. Barrel Oak Winery
Popular BOW proves that a winery can go to the dogs (in a good way), and retain sustainable practices. Report card: Click here.

8. Gadino Cellars
Home of the Gold Medal 2016 Governor's Cup for their 2010 Nebbiolo, Gadino Cellars, near Sperryville, treats everyone who visits as famiglia. Report card: Click here.

9. White Rock Vineyards
A beautiful location near Smith Mountain Lake, featuring a white Merlot that is a must-try. Click here for their report card.

10. Wisteria Farm and Vineyard
This location between the Shenandoah Valley towns of Luray and Stanley is big on character. Report card: Click here.

As we approach Earth Day, we hope you and yours celebrate by going winery green!