My wife and I started on the “Barrels on the Brandywine” wine tasting trail again yesterday, for the first time in about three years. It’s a great introduction to local wineries and we were able to visit some places that we did not know about. It also had us missing some great local wineries that aren’t part of the trail now.
Local wine is green wine. When you consider the smaller carbon footprint associated with reduced demands for fuel to transport wine from, say, Chester County when compared to, say, California, the green impact is obvious.
These wineries also offer the consumer the option of buying wine on the way home from work or as part of a series of errands. You can buy directly from the winery in the same trip that you pick up your dry cleaning or go to the mall.
The wine doesn’t have to first travel to the distributor, then to the State Store, before you buy it. Eliminating those truck rides eliminates carbon emissions.
Today, we visited Penns Woods in Chadds Ford, Delaware County and Kreutz Creek, Patone, and Paradocx in West Grove, Chester County.
I used to drive through West Grove on my way to work. Today was my first visit since the last time that we took the wine trail, and I noticed the new houses.
Americans tend to see a farm as undeveloped space, but a farm – or a vineyard – is a business. These businesses come with environmental costs, such as the need for fuel and, often, pesticides to operate them. Turning crops into beverages requires energy and selling those beverages requires packaging. It’s not pure green, certainly not perfect.
Those grapes turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, though, and the plants anchor the soil, preventing erosion. Even a vineyard grows more than just grapes – there are trees and grasses, doing the same things as the grapes.
After pondering these matters over a bit of wine, and hoping for a taste of “vino veritas,” I’m going to add another green consideration to this space.
Preservation of green space, in all senses of the color, is another component of green drinks. When a vineyard means that land can make money as an agricultural business, or when a brewery located on a farm means that it can remain a farm, or when a farm retains economic viability by growing crops that are used by a nearby brewery or distillery, then local drinks are green.
As usual, if you are under 21 or have a problem with alcohol then don’t read my stories under this Examiner title.
If you know of a brewery, distillery, or winery that is “going green” or has already gone green, please email me at the address beside my picture.