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Wine, Food, Farms, and Finds

Good food and wine sustain us best when produced with care and shared with friends.

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novembre, 2019

CSA Produce Box

LIKE A GOOD NEIGHBOR

California wineries go to great lengths to nurture relationships: with customers, employees, suppliers and communities. They may not broadcast it, but California Certified Sustainable wineries take concrete steps to keep these constituents happy. Some wineries encourage employees to volunteer in the community on company time. Others raise funds for charitable causes, such as community health and research, breast-cancer research, music education in schools, or the local volunteer fire department. And all generously donate their wine to numerous local and national causes. Investing in employees is also a priority at Certified Sustainable wineries.

Turley Wine Cellars pays college tuition for the children of employees who need assistance. Talley Vineyards grows produce for a CSA box and offers the box to employees at cost; unsold produce from the winery’s farm stand is free to employees. Spottswoode Winery covered the costs of restoring an ailing creek in St. Helena. In ways large and small, visible and not, sustainable wineries strengthen communities.

The Pour

Which Wine?

When it comes to red wine, Merlot is the go-everywhere grape. It’s sturdy enough for steak, but with tannins gentle enough to make it work when vegetables are center-of-the-plate. It’s a prized blending grape with Cabernet Sauvignon, softening that variety’s robust tannins, but also approachable and aromatic on its own. With this thyme-scented vegetable soup, pour a Merlot from one of the California appellations known for it, such as Napa Valley, Central Coast or Sonoma County. For the white wine drinkers at the table, add a bottle of Chardonnay; its creamy texture will complement the velvety soup. 

Meet the Grapes: Explore more wine pairings


Wine Institute is an association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses from the beautiful and diverse wine regions throughout the state. Wine Institute works to create an environment where the wine community can flourish and contribute in a positive fashion to our nation, state and local communities. For information please contact communications@wineinstitute.org.