14 March 2011

Vegan-friendly winery celebrates 25 years of sustainability with Earth Day label

Indulging in a glass of white wine may seem like a totally self-fulfilling act, but thanks to Fetzer Vineyards, that wine buzz now comes with an added dose of altruistic environmentalism.  The winemakers are celebrating 25 years of pioneering earth-friendly winemaking practices by releasing a limited edition Earth Day bottle featuring a new label designed by a renowned California artist. And- here comes the really selfless part- in honor of Earth Day, Fetzer is donating $10,000 to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, an organization dedicated to the responsible enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors.

"Achieving a quarter of a century of pioneering earth-friendly winemaking practices is a special accomplishment, so it was only fitting that we celebrate this year with a special bottling," said Mike Haering, Fetzer brand manager. "We're excited to introduce the Earth Day bottle because the label artwork beautifully captures the California landscape, which is home to our winery, and showcases our amazing outdoors, which inspires and drives our commitment to conservation."

Available in limited quantities beginning April 2011, the Earth Day label will hold Fetzer's 2010 Chardonnay and feature artwork by Anne Kessler, an artist known for her impressionist interpretations of California landscapes who shares the same home base as Fetzer: Mendocino, California. 

"I am pleased to celebrate Fetzer's green initiatives by sharing my artwork on the commemorative Earth Day label," said Kessler. "This Earth Day, I hope my art reminds people of what they love about life on this wonderful planet:  the gift of the vine, the shade of an oak, the smell of late afternoon in the Mendocino hills."

Through its Earth Day Bottle Artist Series, Fetzer chose to donate to the non-profit organization Leave No Trace, as both organizations have a shared passion for taking care of the environment.

"It was an easy decision to make a donation to Leave No Trace, as this organization shares many similar beliefs as we do at Fetzer, as our love of nature and the outdoors is why we're so dedicated to sustainable practices," said Haering.

In addition to its 25 years of sustainability initiatives, all of Fetzer's white wines are completely vegan and cruelty-free, according to the vegan wine and beer guide, Barnivore.com, making sipping on a chilled Chardonnay that much sweeter.  And the Cali company was the first to power winery operations by purchasing and using only renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and geothermal, including one of the wine industry's largest solar installations. The winery also focuses on natural pest control in its own vineyards, waste reduction, water conservation and recycled materials packaging.

Stephanie DeBalko | @_stephanied_
Stephanie is a freelance writer who loves shelter dogs and Vegenaise. She recently came to the conclusion that the written word could be an amazing ally for all animals, and is choosing to use her nerdy love of grammar and punctuation for the greater good of animal welfare. She can also be found at Homespun by Stephanie.

Photo credit: Fetzer