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The Hit List: Cheers to Earth Day!
Robin Barr Sussman | Photo: Courtesy Image | April 5, 2013
Earth Day, April 22, is approaching. So what better time to sip an eco-friendly wine at top H-Town restaurants! Many California wineries have established planet-worshipping practices like solar-panel energy, water recycling and hand trellising of vines. Barrel up to toast the red, white and green!
1. Coppa (5555 Washington Ave., 713.426.4260) has a strong Italian wine list, many affordable global wines and a large selection of eco-friendly wines to match the rustic Italian fare. Choose from organic and bio-dynamic Ridge Zinfandel or Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, which was one of the first California wineries certified in the Sonoma Green Business Program.
2. Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County has been dedicated to sustainable grape growing since long before it became popular, and remains a leader in preserving the earth. Pair its bold and velvety Merlot by the glass at Fleming’s Steakhouse (2405 W. Alabama St., 713.520.5959, and other locations) with a big slab of filet mignon and a crisp wedge salad with rich blue cheese dressing. Fleming’s also sells Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage by the bottle.
3. The Tasting Room (1101-18 Uptown Park Blvd., 713.993.9800, and other location) showcases a bundle of earth-friendly wines. Sanford Pinot Noir, produced by the Santa Barbara winery that was the first stop in the popular movie Sideways. It sports the concept of the “winemaker as a farmer,” with an energy-efficient winery, a spring-fed watering system, and a conservation easement preserved for native wild flora. Also “green” is Tablas Creek from Paso Robles.
4. Tony Vallone’s Ciao Bello (5161 San Felipe St., 713.960.0333) pours earth-loving favorite David Bynum Pinot Noir Sonoma County wines, produced at a carbon-neutral and solar-power-producing winery certified by the California Sustainable Winegrower’s Alliance. Also, look for Firestone Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, a winery committed to sustainable farming practices from Foley Family wines.
5. Sorrel Urban Bistro’s (2202 W. Alabama St., 713.677.0391) wine list shines with the elegant Jordan Chardonnay, produced at its Alexander Valley winery and stunning European style estate where solar power accounts for more than 75 percent of their electricity. Also find Iron Horse Brut Russian River and Jeriko Reserve biodynamic, Mendocino—both on-the-mark matches with your farm-to-table meal.
6. Dedicated to a menu of on-premise-grown produce and South Texas wild game, The Rainbow Lodge’s (2011 Ella Blvd., 713.861.8666) massive wine list mirrors the green approach with Quivira Grenache, a juicy red blend. Quivira in Sonoma County farms its vineyards bio-dynamically and organically, and the winery is powered almost entirely by solar energy. The grounds are amazing with ponds, beekeeping and beautiful gardens overflowing with organic produce (quivirawine.com). They bottle their own olive oil and honey, too!