Drinking with a Purpose

Working for a non-profit organization, I understand the value in giving back to the community. I try to give back in different ways, through money and time, so I was happy to learn that the bottle of Westerly Wines Pinot Noir 2013 I grabbed came with a serving of altruism.

Westerly partners with Wine to Water, a non-profit organization that helps bring clean water to global communities. Wine to Water’s mission is to reshape the face of aid by using what wine symbolizes in an entirely new way. Each bottle sold provides clean water to someone in need for an entire year (we take that for granted). Nothing like sipping for a cause.

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Their Pinot Noir comes from Sta. Rita Hills, a relatively small appellation of approximately 100 square miles in California. Intersected by the Santa Ynez River, the cool climate appellation is located between the towns of Buellton and Lompoc in Santa Barbara County. The maritime influences contribute to the climate for ideal grape growing.

The grapes were harvested in mid-to-late September and the fruit is hand-sorted, destemmed, and cold soaked at 45 degrees for four days. Whole berry fermentation happened in small, open top stainless-steel fermenters. The tank was drained and pressed after 21 days on the skins, and this wine was filled into 228-liter French oak barrels, 60% of which were new. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrel. The wine was racked to blend after eight months, and remained in barrel for a total of 18 months. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered in July of 2015.

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The wine is ruby in color and the legs stick to the glass when you swirl it around, slowly dripping down. It has deep aromas of cherry, dark fruit, and cinnamon—it initially tickles your nose a bit. It’s a smooth, but structured, sipper. The fruit flavors travel onto the palate with notes of spice, tannins, and some acidity on the backend. It has a little bit of a kick to the end of it with a long finish. It’s about $45 a bottle online and the website has bulk purchasing savings. I paired it with a garden stroll, which was quite lovely. This is an elegant Pinot Noir that can be cellared through 2020. Cheers!

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