As specialists in outdoor garments and gear, it’s not surprising that American clothier Patagonia has an eco-friendly mission. The company even sells environmentally friendly foodstuffs through its Patagonia Provisions portfolio (founded in 2012), which recently added six “natural” wines to its lineup, as well as sparkling cider and a canned piquette (a low-alcohol wine product made from grape pomace).
“Adding beer and wine has always been part of [our] plan,” Patagonia Provisions co-founder Birgit Cameron told Wine Spectator via email. Each wine was custom-made for the project with help from Patagonia Provisions’ wine-sourcing partners Brian McClintic and Vanya Filipovic, and the wines are all made by producers committed to minimal-intervention winemaking.
There are a few familiar names in the mix. Sicily’s Frank Cornelissen has made an Etna red and a rosato ($39 each), and Austria’s Meinklang made a rosé and a thyme-infused Pinot Blanc ($25 each). There’s also a Chablis from Château de Béru ($48), and a Marquette-based red from Wild Arc Farm in New York ($30). And coming soon, a sake from brewer Terada Honke and a second sparkling cider from Chile.
While these wineries are scattered around the globe, they’re united in their use of environmentally sustainable practices, a major attraction for Patagonia Provisions. They employ organic methods for warding off pests, for instance, and all replenish their soils with natural nutrients, fertilizer “teas” or composts. “Each [Patagonia Provisions] product has a deep reason for being and aims to solve an environmental problem,” said Cameron. “We’re rethinking conventional winemaking practices that are harmful to the environment and instead working with producers that are using restorative farming practices. We prioritized producers that apply natural winemaking processes and low-intervention fermentation techniques over mass production capabilities. … We hope that we can inspire greater change in the winemaking industry and shift to more responsible ways of farming and winemaking.”
Wellness-focused retail club Public Goods is now offering eco-friendly wines as well.
“People thought it was crazy when we went from selling personal-care products to launching healthy groceries and pet food,” Public Goods co-founder and head of product development Michael Ferchak said via email, “but our ultimate goal is to provide a minimalist assortment in every category of essentials that people use regularly. So from this lens, launching wine makes perfect sense.”
The Public Goods lineup includes a Prosecco, a Grenache-based Rhône rosé, a Venezia Pinot Grigio, a California Chardonnay and a biodynamically farmed Bordeaux Malbec, all made from certified-organic grapes. They’re also vegan-friendly. A Chilean Cabernet blend will join the selection soon. “We sought out vineyards only using organic grapes, some that implement biodynamic farming practices and others that have adopted innovative methods to make wine while being gentler on our planet,” Ferchak explained. The wines are only available in six-packs (about $95 each), in an effort to provide members with better pricing and reduce the wines’ carbon footprints.
Public Goods’ product development team worked with a sommelier to put together the collection, focusing on sustainability and affordability. In line with the trending “Better for You” category of wines, the Public Goods website provides details on the yeasts, sulfite volumes and winemaking methods for each wine. “The opportunity to make shopping for wine easy and affordable and simplify what can be a complicated category was a natural fit,” Ferchak explained. “Giving our members peace of mind that they're bringing healthy, sustainable and beautiful products into their home is our ultimate mission.”
Alongside these bottles, Public Goods has also produced a video for wine fans (especially glass swirlers), perhaps set to replace last year’s Must-Sheep TV as enophiles’ favorite on-screen relaxation. The nearly two-hour Public Goods Wine TV video features swirling glasses and pouring streams of wine, with splashing sounds accompanied by light woodwind music.
According to Ferchak, the film—produced by Public Goods creative director Ben Vrazo and Daniel Schloss of Schloss Creative—was originally intended to be just 30 seconds, but with so much footage, the team adopted a new plan. “It sparked the idea to create an alternative to the traditional Yule Log fireplace video,” Ferchak said. “Ben wanted to capture the simplicity and romance of wine, while creating something super immersive, focused on the color and viscosity of the wine to showcase its quality.”
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