Planet Oregon Pinot noir
Oregon Pinot noir for the Planet - Planet Oregon Pinot noir is "Green Wine"
Oregon Winemaker Tony Soter Promotes Planetary Environmental Health
With New Planet Oregon Wine Cellars
by Jean Yates
Our Purpose is to Produce Persuasively Good Oregon Pinot
For People Uninterested in Pomp, Pretense or Posturing.
A Populist Product That is Pure and Positively Progressive.
Only Oregon Pinot Noir.
Passionately Produced But Practically Packaged.
The Perennial Taste of Planet Oregon at a Palatable Price.
Planet Oregon Pinot.
- Tony Soter, from the mission statement
of Planet Oregon Wine Cellars
Oregonians are surrounded by natural beauty - it helps you think green. We have amazing mountains and forests and coastlines. It's no surprise that over 30% of the vineyard acreage in Oregon is certified sustainable.
If you visit Oregon wineries, you'll find them thinking green as well. The first winery in the country to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification was from Oregon (Sokol Blosser, for their eco-roof underground wine cellar in 2001.) Carlton Winemakers Studio followed up with Oregon's first LEED certified winery complex in 2002. Just this month (March, 2011), the U.S. Green Building Council named Oregon fifth among the top ten states ranked by the number of square feet built with LEED certification. While the vast majority of vineyard acres across the country are still conventionally farmed (75%), Oregon wineries pioneer responsible, environmentally advanced agriculture.
The list of organizations that certify sustainability and promote ecologically responsible business in Oregon can be daunting to understand. Demeter Certified Biodynamic, Oregon Tilth Certified Organic, LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology), and Food Alliance are just some of them. In addition, over 14 wineries in Oregon have signed on to the new Carbon Neutral Challenge for Oregon Wineries, sponsored by the Oregon Environmental Council and the Oregon Wine Board.
Today, with his Proudly Presented mission statement, reknowned winemaker Tony Soter takes "green wine" to a new level as he launches his newest wine project, Planet Oregon.
Tony describes the essence of what Planet Oregon is all about: "I want Planet Oregon to assure consumers that what is in the bottle represents a highly conscious and verifiable standard for responsible winegrowing."
How does all of this great work translate into something easily understood by wine buyers?
It's Planet Oregon.
Planet Oregon Wine Cellars
Tony's new Planet Oregon Wine Cellars winery arises from his involvement with a project of the Oregon Wine Board, the Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) program. OCSW wines are certified by an independent third party agency, confirming that the wines are made using responsible environmental practices for both agriculture and winemaking. A logical extension of the growing interest in wineries using sustainable practices in vineyard and winery, it makes it easy to purchase a wine that complies with the standards of an increasingly long list of organizations.
Tony is passionate about using and promoting sustainable, environmentally smart farming methods. He describes his commitment to offering buyers their best choice of environmentally conscious wine:
"Both Planet Oregon Pinot noir and OCSW represent efforts to get people explicitly thinking about their choices when it comes to wine. Today people buy according to their budget and their taste. I want to see them have a chance to exercise a third element to their decision tree. Does the wine have a traceable, verifiable provenance that includes truly sustainable practices? Their act in choosing this bottle over another is part of their own daily endorsement and support of such practices."
Tony says: "I think wine consumers are ripe to exercise this kind of choice
but it remains too confusing to do it in a confident way."
Planet Oregon not only accomplishes this, but does it in a delicious, exciting way.
Planet Oregon Pinot noir
One dollar of each bottle of Planet Oregon Pinot noir sold goes to support the work of the Oregon environmental Council.
Planet Oregon Pinot noir 09 is the first wine from Tony's new project. His mission: "to create and bottle delicious young Pinot noir that is fresh, silky, and suggestive of Oregon summer fruits...cherries and berries of all kinds." He succeeds admirably.
Planet Oregon Pinot noir is a lovely, garnet colored wine. A delectable aroma of fresh raspberries, just picked on a hot summer day, almost takes your breath away. An upfront juiciness follows through with mouthwatering flavors of raspberries, blackberries, and cherries, tinged with a suggestion of sweet baking spices and dried herbs. A pretty, easy to love wine, ready to drink. Close your eyes while drinking it and be taken to an Oregon vineyard on a perfect summer day.
Tony did not make Planet Oregon Pinot noir to use up excess juice. It has a much more important purpose. It will bring awareness of the concept of sustainable growing practices to Oregon wine buyers, and offer those who already search for environmentally sensitive products a wine they can be confident in.
In addition to educating consumers, Tony is using the project to get more grape growers involved with certified, progressive farming. Tony works with growers that are organic, biodynamic, LIVE and Food Alliance certified, all of whom meet the Salmon Safe criteria in the process. In the spirit of Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine, he "encourages them to be faithful to and adhere to the standards of the Organization they seek third party verification with."
Planet Oregon's Carbon Footprint
Planet Oregon is made at Soter Vineyards' LIVE certified winery, one of just 14 facilities in Oregon (and very few in the world) that can claim to have "rigorously documented their carbon use and reduced, mitigated and offset all carbon accounted for in the onsite production methods in accord with international standards. Our data is posted to the Climate Registry as part of our commitment."
Tony says: "The Carbon Challenges are another chapter in what sustainability will ultimately mean when we refer to Sustainable Winegrowing. It is beyond organic in a way in its attempt to be comprehensive."
Soter Vineyards was one of the first wineries to sign up for the Carbon Neutral Challenge in Oregon and invested in a verifiable carbon offset to minimize their carbon footprint.