In addition to birding, hiking, kayaking and camping, the Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy can add their wine list to the things they do to support their reputation as New York’s “greenest borough.” The SIGC, steward of over 2,800 acres of private and pubic lands, served only organic wines at their fundraising gala last month. Executive Director Steve Cain was very enthused to serve his hundred guests environmentally friendly wines, saying “there’s tremendous synergy behind the choice.”
Staking out the bar, I found that while this crowd was committed to sustainability and preservation, few guests were familiar with organic wine and most were sampling them for the first time. Many guests did not even realize they were drinking organic wines, but once they found out were all very interested to talk about classifications, policies and politics.
I invited NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benape to join me at the bar and we sampled a flight consisting of Yealands Estate Pinot Noir from Marlborough, New Zealand, Di Majo Norante Sangiovese from Molise Italy and Yalumba Organic Riverland Shiraz from Australia. He was quite happy with the Pinot. I asked for a healthier pour of the Sangiovese, but I also quite enjoyed the Shiraz. Commissioner Benape said he is a strong advocate for “all things organic, including drinking organic wine,” yet demurred asked if he would propose to Mayor Bloomberg that only organic wines be served at Gracie Mansion.
Of the whites, Bodega Santa Julia Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina seemed to be a crowd favorite, though I preferred the Weingut Loimer Reisling from Kamptal, Austria, (Biodynamic). The Staten Island Greenbelt Conservancy sent a very green-forward message by initiating a hundred organic wine drinkers. And now Mayor Bloomberg, about Gracie Mansion’s wine cellar…