How Local Was My Pinot

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pinotgris.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

As the locavore movement gains speed and strength, it seems only natural its philosophy would make its way to the wine world. Enter Kevin Kelley, founder of Natural Process Alliance , an organization dedicated to producing wines with minimal waste and additives – and then distributing them solely within a 100-mile radius of his Santa Rosa winery. Sound kooky? I think it’s anything but. Sustainable Star
Kelly – who also makes wine for the now cult-popular Lioco brand – says his aim is in fact to create wine to which he doesn’t add a single additive (most wines contain sulfur, a preservative that allows them to stand up to shipping and storage). He achieves this aim by crafting wines deliberately intended to live short lives, often traveling straight from the tank to tables at a handful of Bay Area restaurants in the same day. Kelley packages them in reusable stainless steel containers that he retrieves from partner restaurants once they’ve been used – much as a milkman retrieves his bottles for re-use, as such effectively eliminating packaging waste.

So far, reviews are tentatively positive for his two debut wines, a 2008 Chalk Hill Pinot Gris and 2008 Sonoma Coast Skin-Fermented Chardonnay. Looks like the future is bright for locavore wines.