Organic Winery of the Year

Organic Wine Review continues to roll out its Organic Wines of the Year Awards.  Week one was “Best Value” Organic Wine of the Year.  Week two was Organic White Wine of the Year. Week three was Organic Red Wine of the Year.  Week four was Organic Wine of the Year.  This week the awards reach their conclusion with the opening of the poll for the prestigious Organic Winery of the Year.

Finalists for Organic Wine of the Year had to have submitted at least three wines to be reviewed and at least two of those wines were rated 90 points or higher.  (For more information about Organic Wine Review’s rating scale, click here).  Unlike the other categories which had more international representation, all the finalists for Organic Winery of the Year come from North America:  three from California (two from Mendocino and one from Napa), one from Oregon and one from Canada.  Interestingly all of the wineries are family-run with a couple of them being run by a 2nd generation.

Paul Dolan Wines, Mendocino County, California. Paul Dolan has been a pioneer and leader in the organic and biodynamic wine movement in California.  He has been outspoken in his views of the vineyard / farm as a living, life-giving system. “A sustainable farm should be a whole farm, like a whole person. It must have integrity. It must have a moral center. It must be connected to its values and the greater world. It must aspire to do what is right, not just for the bottom line, not just from a legal standpoint, but from a moral and ethical standpoint. It’s not only accountable, it’s responsible.”  The result of this approach shows in Paul Dolan’s organic and biodynamic wines.  OWR reviewed four of Paul’s wines this year – all four received 90 point rating or higher.  Click here to see wines reviewed.

Rollingdale Winery, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. Rollingdale Winery was founded and owned by a husband and wife team of Steve and Kirsty Dale.  Their focus is on producing fine wines using only premium grapes made from the most conscientiously cultivated vines they can find.  The winery makes chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon but where they really shine is their Icewines, including both a pinot gris and a very unusual pinot noir Icewine.  OWR reviewed three of Rollingdale wines this year – two of which received a 90 point rating or higher.  Click here to see the wines reviewed.

Sokol Blosser, Dundee Hills, Oregon. Bill Blosser and Susan Sokol Blosser planted their first vines in 1971, in the infant days of the wine industry in Oregon. Today, Sokol Blosser has grown and prospered as a family-owned and run operation, and have clearly been part of developing and shaping Oregon’s now prominent wine industry. Their focus is on producing world class wines that are produced sustainably, mindful of the environment and health, and that express the distinctive flavors of their hillside vineyards. Sokol Blosser is among the best of what Oregon is – the perfect storm of French Burgundy and Sunny California combined to produce noteworthy Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.  OWR reviewed four of Sokol Blosser wines this year – all four received a 90 point rating or higher.  Click here to see wines reviewed.

Volker Eisele Family Estate, Chiles Valley, Napa Valley, California. Volker Eisele Family Estate has farmed organically for over thirty-five years.  All fruit for their limited production wines is grown in their Chiles Valley vineyard:  Cabernet Sauvignon; “Terzetto” is a unique blend of co-fermented Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; and a Bordeaux style Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.  OWR reviewed three of Volker Eisele’s wines this year – two of which received a 90 point rating.  Click here to see wines reviewed.

Yorkville Cellars, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County, California. In the mid-1980’s Deborah and Edward Wallo discovered this special place: a highland valley where the waters of the Russian and Navarro Rivers start and part, and where the giant coastal redwoods and valley oaks come together.  Intuitively convinced that such a place would foster complex and richly favored grapes, they bought 110 acres and set out to restore neglected Sauvignon Blanc with the application of the latest organic practices.  The vineyards were expanded to 30 acres and the first estate wines were bottled in 1994.  Yorkville’s vineyards are claimed to be the only single vineyard in the world growing all six of the Bordeaux red varietals.  OWR reviewed nine of Yorkville Cellar’s wines this year and had the opportunity to interview Edward Wallo – six of which received a 90 point or higher rating.  Click here to see wines reviewed.

There are no losers among this group of exceptional wineries – all are top notch and leaders in the organic wine movement.  Watch the reviews, share with your friends and vote for your favorite.  All the polls are open until Sunday December 19th.  Winners of all categories will be announced the week of December 20th.

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