To achieve Sustainability In Practice (SIP) Certification, winemakers must meet a number of rigorous standards regarding soil & water conservation, water quality, air quality, fruit quality, safe pest management, energy efficiency and social responsibility, just to name a few. Wine makers achieving certification are allowed to use the SIP Certified seal in their marketing.
While I don’t pretend to know the actual long term benefits to the planet from these sustainability practices, I do know that I’ve never had a bottle of SIP certified wine that I didn’t enjoy.
Most recently I sampled a wine from Tolosa Winery in California’s Edna Valley, a 2008 No-Oak Chardonnay. Aged in steel (as opposed to oak barrels), this chard has a nice crisp acidity that I normally like to pair with seafood or spicy chicken dishes. It’s definitely worth the $16-$20 that you’ll pay for a bottle.
I used to only like the oaky/buttery chardonnays. They were the only wine I found that that paired well with popcorn:) But unoaked chards are growing on me and I can see why they are growing in popularity as the oak doesn’t mask the other flavors. If you haven’t tried a no-oak chardonnay, I recommend you give one a try – preferably one that’s SIP Certified. You can follow SIP Certified Wines on twitter.