It’s Earth Day again, that one day when we’re supposed to stop to smell the roses, and celebrate Gaia. I try to be kind to my planet every day, by taking care of her and recycling, reducing and reusing – since it’s clear to me that she is one pissed off mama. Today, I’m sipping on some green wines, in partnership with Sip Certified. Sip Certified has spent the last 15 years working with growers and wineries rethink their strategy about sustainability. Pretty cool stuff! To become Sip Certified, you msut address the entire farm ecosystem, from soil to vine, from bottle to cork. you can learn more HERE. But today, I’m sipping on Riverbench Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley. Riverbench Vineyard began in 1973, when it was planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Now, over 30 years later, they are a leading fruit source for the Santa maria Valley. In 2004 the property was purchased, and the new owners embarked on their own wine adventure, reserving some of the fruit for their own estate wines. The 2010 Estate Pinot starts out with some bold red fruit on the nose, with ripe strawberries and raspberries on the palate. Surprisingly, there is some great acidity in this wine; I am constantly looking for more acid in my pinots, and it’s nice to find a southern Central Coast example that has some bright cranberry and bright red fruit along with the rich ripe berry. There is also a nice spice box hiding in there that gives the wine a kick on the finish. I am enjoying the allspice and pepper kick. One of the hallmarks of this wine is the silky mouth feel and smooth palate, due to the 96% neutral oak. with only 4% new French Oak, the flavor of the fruit shine through wihtout being overpowered. At a budget friendly !~$25, this is a Santa Maria wine I will keep my eye on! Enjoy! This wine was provided by Sip Certified, to celebrate Earth Day.