More and more wine drinkers are seeking out wines made with fruit that has been certified as organic, whether to support the greater good of sustainable farming in general or to avoid crops grown using specific synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, as this kind of farming and certification increases the wine’s production cost, and often lowers crop yield, such wines tend to be pricey. There are exceptions, as with this delightful bargain, and they tend to come from regions where the climate is so naturally wine-friendly that even conventional farming requires little intervention. The coastal valleys of Chile provide precisely such an environment. Framed by deserts and glaciers to the north and south, the Andes and the Pacific Ocean to the east and west, Chile’s vineyards are protected from many of the insect pests and vine diseases that afflict less-isolated wine regions. The region’s weather patterns also are ideal for grape growing, with dry, sunny summers and autumns that prevent rot and fungus from developing. This creates an environment where vineyard sprays and soil treatments are less essential, and therefore easier to forgo in favor of more natural agriculture. In this case, the results are delicious: a brisk and refreshing white with zesty flavors of fresh lime and celery.
Natura Sauvignon Blanc, Chile. $8.99 (regularly $11.99; sale price through Jan. 27). PLCB Item #6025.