Sustaining Nantucket | One Sip at a TimeApril 30, 2020
Supporting our community ‘One Sip at a Time’ is the mission of Cheers to Charities, an initiative created by Épernay Wine & Spirits and begun in 2018.
The concept was originally designed in that the first Thursday in-store tasting of every month was dedicated to a local non-profit on Nantucket Island in order to raise awareness for that organization and also fun-draise for their charitable cause.
This initiative has hence evolved in that you can now support the causes of Cheers to Charities throughout the entire month that the non-profit is being featured, making your impact more significant and long-lasting. More on that later…
For now, we would like to introduce you to our Cheers to Charities benefactor for this month, SUSTAINABLE NANTUCKET. The mission of Sustainable Nantucket is Cultivating, Educating, and Promoting environmentally responsible choices… making a big difference on a small island. What better way to showcase their important impact on the island than with sustainable wine pairings!
THE BEES HAVE IT
The concept of terroir is not alone to wine grapes and where they are grown. Merroir is in reference to where oysters originate, taking into consideration if they are in Polpis harbor or Shimmo Creek, along with the tide flow at that location. The flavor of honey made from local bees is as distinct as the flowers the bee pollinated along its way, whether it is in Wauwinet or the Cisco area, along with the time of year being spring or fall.
As a result of a partnership with Nantucket Land Bank, SUSTAINABLE NANTUCKET (SN) created the Walter F. Ballinger Educational Community Farm, home of their Community Farm Institute (CFI). The CFI is designed to increase overall sustainable agricultural production and distribution on the island, including transporting packages and nucs of bees to the island for roughly 50 of the island’s beekeepers. The recent pick up of this delivery at the farm was seen with much success as the farmers were there to help their new pollinators adjust, including SN’s Managing Director Posie Constable.
Organic farming enhances honeybee colony performance, therefore creating a more sustainable environment for growing grapes as well. Parés Baltà Winery, located in the Penedès region of Catalonia, Spain, has continuously been growing grapes for over 200 years. They excel at applying Organic and Biodynamic farming at their estate. Third generation brothers Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol, along with their winemaking wives, contribute to the winery’s philosophy of tradition and cultivation of their vineyards with respect to the environment. While Biodynamic farming seeks to provide maximum vitality, self-balance and harmony to the vineyard, they cultivate the vineyards in an ecological way without applying herbicides, pesticides nor any chemical fertilizer. They also have bees that pollinate the vines during the flowering season.
PARÉS BALTÀ BRUT CAVA is a beautiful bubbly, made from a blend of Parellada (62%) providing freshness, Macabeu (22%) bringing essences of fruit, and Xarel·lo giving it some body weight and texture (16%) – all indigenous white grape varietals from this area. This dry, sparkling wine is made in the Champagne method, where the second fermentation producing the bubbles occurs in the bottle. It offers bright aromas of white peach, apple and pear which follow through on the palate with a slight creaminess on the finish.
Perfect Pairing: Crostini smeared with burrata cheese, fresh herbs from the garden and drizlled with local Nantucket honey
FULL CIRCLE FARMING
Not only learning the skills of farming and gardening, but also discovering where food comes from, how it grows, and what it tastes like is just part of Sustainable Nantucket’s Farm to School Program (F2S) with Nantucket Public Schools. This encourages physical activity, cognitive skills, analytical thinking, and a hands-on approach for the children participating in the program under the guidance of Farm to School Manager Calin Duke. Here she empowers kiddos to grow their own food for their families through camps, educational workshops, online learning, community videos and working the with school lunch program. Starting children at a young age to learn about the cycle of food will have long term benefits for living on an island with limited resources, while also taking care of our land as stewards to future generations.
This is the premise behind Long Meadow Ranch, located in Rutherford, California. Owners Ted and Laddie Hall, along with their son Chris is often a well-respected luminary at Nantucket Wine Fest, employ a full-circle organic farming system. This organic, sustainable, integrated farming system relies on each part of the ranch to contribute to the health of the whole. This includes compost and solar power, along with vineyards, olive groves, Highland cattle, and bees found on their working ranch. They practice their motto of “Excellence through Responsible Farming” by being socially responsible using diversified, sustainable, and organic farming methods.
These organic and sustainable practices are used to grow and produce award-winning wines as well. LONG MEADOW RANCH CHARDONNAY “FARMSTEAD” is a delicious, crowd-pleasing with zesty aromatics of meyer lemon, candied orange peel and white flowers. It has a lively textured palate with a refreshingly long finish. The wine is fermented in stainless steel, followed by aging in mostly neutral oak barrels that allow the classic texture of this varietal to shine while preserving the wines natural acidity.
Perfect Pairing: Farm fresh kale salad with a chili/lemon dressing and toasted pine nuts
NANTUCKET RED IS ACTUALLY PINK
Our beautiful island is known for many thinks, including limericks and our signature color. One of the highlights of the summer is Sustainable Nantucket’s Farmers and Artisans Market. This program was designed to support and strengthen our traditional industry of agriculture; to provide access to locally grown food; to support the local economy and encourage entrepreneurs; to help keep downtown vital and to enhance our experience of community. The market features of 40 different vendors, all Nantucket residents, whose goods sold must be grown or produced on the island. It typically runs every Saturday from 9 am – 1pm, beginning in June through mid-October, weather (and pandemic) pending.
Speaking of pink and all this talk of island grown food, this would make one thirsty. It is time to start sampling the newest releases of rosé wines available for your summer selections. G.D. Vajra is a small, family-owned and operated winery located in the Piedmont region of Italy. They are pioneers of organic farming in the region since 1971. Each wine they produce comes from a specific parcel of their vineyard and tells a story of which it originates.
G.D. VAJRA ROSATO “ROSA BELLA” is a delicate, pale rosé, made primarily from Nebbiolo, with a complement of Dolcetto and Barbera. The grapes are harvested a bit earlier than they would be if used to produce red wines. The wine is produced in a ‘saignee’ method in which a portion of the juice from the grape must is removed at an early stage to be produced into rosé wine. The nose quite floral, with with rose petals, raspberry, fresh strawberry and strawberry blossoms. On the palate, the wine follows through with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and a hint of incense. The wine is very mouthwatering and light on the palate, making it the perfect accompaniment to the upcoming summer.
Perfect Pairing: Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream, fresh lemon balm and orange mint
NANTUCKET AS A STATE OF MIND
Back at the farm, the Walter F. Ballinger Educational Community Farm on Hummock Pond Road is where the Community Farm Institute is “growing new growers.” Not only is SN expanding the production of local food through their Land Use Partnership Initiative and Agricultural Apprenticeships, they also provide classes, workshops and resources for grower education. In keeping their programs full circle, the farm and the market help to provide access to local food for restaurants and individuals through their Sustainable Nantucket Nantucket Grown™ Campaign, providing support for promotion of such and distribution networks.
Sustainably farming, not just here on Nantucket, but anywhere, is more than just that, it is also a state of mind. For Planet Oregon wines, they insist on sourcing from certified sustainable vineyards and bottle in a certified sustainable winery so that their promise to be responsible and mindful stewards of the land goes beyond words and into practice.
PLANET OREGON PINOT NOIR is owned and made by Willamette Valley’s Soter Vineyards. This wine offers a bright array of fresh, juicy strawberries, with notes of tart cranberry. It is aged in neutral oak that helps to provide a finish with polished tannins. This value-priced wine is produced to be consumed early (and often!), embodying the conscious choice we all have to endorse and truly support sustainable practices.
Perfect Pairing: Washashore Farms Duck Eggs served over a grass-fed beef sirloin
- The CHEERS TO CHARITIES Wine Pack is a collection of four hand-picked, Sommelier selected wines that are congruent with the mission of the partnered non-profit of the month. (This month’s selections are the wines mentioned above.)
- The Wine Pack is available to purchase throughout the month, beginning on the first day through the last day of the month (whatever date that may be…).
- One wine from the pack will be featured each week at our #WineWithJenny Virtual Tasting, held every Thursday at 6pm EST via Facebook + Instagram Live!
- You can order the Wine Pack online or call the store to order. We are currently offering curbside pick-up or island delivery, only.
- Each Wine Pack purchased is $79, of which 10% will be donated to the charity at the end of the month.
- You can purchase as many Wine Packs as you want throughout the duration of the month… think Mother’s Day, Thank You gift, Birthday present, Welcome Home offering.
- Monthly subscription services are available, let’s keep the ball rolling! Please inquire.
- While individual bottles of the wines are available for sale, only proceeds from the purchase of the Wine Pack are part of this initiative.
- The Wine Pack is unique on its own and not considered for a case discount, however the number of bottles count toward a case discount quantity amount.