The Birds and the Bees - 6 on the Beach - September 2021

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The Birds and the Bees

Pollination, pest control, fertilization, and seed movement. Birds, bees, and bugs have an integral part in keeping a vineyard healthy.

These wines have labels that celebrate the fauna that help their flora. Most are practicing organic or biodynamic viticulture.

 

Cantina San Biagio Vecchio CacciaBruco Ravenna Bianco IGT 2019

This wine comes from Emilia-Romagna’s Revenna province overlooking the Adriatic. The CacciaBruco name refers to a children’s song about caterpillar (bruco) hunting (caccia).

The wine is a blend of 85% Trebbiano and 15% Malvasia di  Candia Aromatica, two grapes that together add up to less than 9% of the grapes planted in the region. The wine’s eight days on the skins lending a wonderful texture that will stand up to hearty fish dishes and creamy cheeses.

 

Reynolds Family Winery Chardonnay Napa Valley 2019

Steve Reynolds pays homage to the lowly mustard plant on each of his wines’ labels. Mustard is planted between vines to deter harmful nematode populations, but it also attracts butterflies and other pollinators just as the vine is flowering.

This refreshing chardonnay has butterscotch notes alongside green apple and Meyer lemon zest and a balanced acidity. Let the wine show itself best with a simple roasted chicken or grilled fish.

 

Montetondo Corvina Rosato Frizzante Verona IGT 2020

Many Veronese wineries are large co-ops: not so here with family-owned and operated Montetondo. The bird is a pappagallo or parrot and conveys the spirit of this easy wine built for conversation.

Corvina has aromatic berry aromas with plum and cherry on the palate. This frizzante shows off its dusty, earthy side here making it a perfect pairing for appetizer boars with salami, mushroom, and earthy, savory cheeses.

 

Raza Tinto-Nat NV (2020)

Raza is kicking it old skool here! The Vinhñao vines for this wine were grown from seeds. The grapes are foot trod in traditional lagares, vinified with native yeasts, and bottle unfiltered. The ground beetle depicted is a testament to the bug’s pest eating habits.

This wine is bright and fresh with brambleberries and raspberries and a pronounced “crunchy” tannin similar to cranberries. The wine should be slightly chilled and would pair well with grilled pork pork loin or chops with a berry and herb sauce.

 

Le Sincette Riviera del Garda Classico Groppello 2018

Le Sincette winery on Lake Garda’s western shore began practicing biodynamic viticulture in 1997 and were certified in 2011. The label’s cocinella (ladybug) is a tip off to their earth friendly ways.

The Groppello grape is native to the Lake Garda area and gives a fresh, medium weight style of wine with fresh red and black fruit flavors and a slight bitter almond edge. This wine wine would be perfect alongside a grilled burger with blue cheese.

 

Remhoogte Soaring Eagle 2019

Birds of prey are useful in vineyard pest management and South Africa’s Remhoogte’s Soaring Eagle honors the eagles that keep rabbits and other pests including, believe it or not, baboons at bay.

Soaring Eagle is a blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon that is flat out tasty. There is plenty of dark cherry, tobacco leaf, and a touch of vanilla. The wine will stand up to a steak but also is the perfect wine to pour for a party.

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