Robert Parker Green Emblem 2022: Rewarding Sustainability
Every year, our reviewers visit thousands of wineries all over the world and witness their initiatives to farm more sustainably firsthand. Last year, we launched the Robert Parker Green Emblem, an annual award that recognizes wineries that are leaders and, in many cases, pioneers of sustainability. Whether it’s moving away from herbicides and pesticides, embracing biodiversity or attaining carbon neutrality, sustainability has many faces. But it’s no secret that many of the world’s best wine producers believe that living soils and balanced ecosystems not only help guarantee their industry’s future but also deliver the most compelling results in the glass.
Following an exciting inaugural list in 2021 that included luminaries such as France’s Domaine Leroy and Ridge Vineyards in the United States, a new crop of 16 wineries have been awarded the Robert Parker Green Emblem in 2022. In Austria, Markus Lang is striving to produce vibrant, bright wines in the face of climate change. In France, Bordeaux’s Château Cheval Blanc’s agroforestry initiatives are bringing biodiversity to a region characterized by monoculture; the Languedoc’s Château Maris stands out as the Europe’s first certified B-Corp winery; Burgundy’s Domaine Vincent Dancer is rethinking the choices for farming vineyards planted at high densities; and the Jura’s Jean-François Ganevat is a long-time proponent of biodynamics.
In Italy, there are three new additions: Sicily’s Arianna Occhipinti, a leader of sustainability initiatives on the island; Tuscany’s Avignonesi, the largest certified biodynamic wine producer in the country; and E. Pira e Figli – Chiara Boschis, where Chiara Boschis is heading a campaign to make the vineyard of Cannubi an entirely organically farmed cru. In Portugal, Herdade do Esporão is a large producer with an emphasis on organic farming and social sustainability, while Julia Kemper applies the precepts of Rudolph Steiner on a smaller, more artisanal scale. And in Spain, Recaredo is producing high-quality sparkling wines exclusively from their own certified organic and biodynamic vineyards.
Moving to the New World, South Africa’s first carbon neutral winery, Backsberg, is on this year’s list. And in the United States, there are four new Green Emblem nominees: Washington’s Hedges Family Estate, an estate committed to sustainable farming and philanthropy; Oregon’s Brick House, where Doug Tunnell has pioneered organic and biodynamic farming in the region’s humid climate; Raen in California’s Sonoma Coast, where Carlo and Dante Mondavi are working with the fully electric Monarch tractor; and Tablas Creek in Paso Robles, where Jason Haas is implementing regenerative organic practices, seeking to maximize carbon sequestration in the soil while also caring for the winery’s workers’ social welfare.
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