A cork made from sugar cane? Yes! These are plant-based synthetic corks made from non-GMO sugar cane and are manufactured by the Nomacorc company in Brazil. The manufacture has developed these as a natural cork alternative and states they offer a zero-carbon footprint. They also reference them to be 100% recyclable and have consistent oxygen control. They have a look and feel similar to synthetic cork.
These new innovative corks are now in use at the Southwest Wine Center in the 2017 Viognier and their 100% Malvasia. The college is also using them in the new Passport, a Viognier and Malvasia blend and expects to use them in and all of the 2017 whites to be bottled.
These corks as a choice of bottle closure are another addition to the mission of ecology and sustainability that is a major goal at Yavapai College.
The Southwest Wine Center is an adaptive reuse project, which is a process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their original features. The building where the tasting room, fermentation, aging and bottling are done was formerly a racquet ball court! One goal of their project is to use 50% less power than an average Arizona home. Their roof also collects rain water for irrigation and other uses. When I take my private wine tours to the facility, I love pointing out the rock walls, which were created utilizing rocks cleared out from the vineyard land.
The corks are currently being used on just the white wines. It will be interesting to see how this newer material will maintain the wines while supporting our environment.
Wednesday night was a fabulous Local First Arizona Event in Old Town Cottonwood at the State Bar. The State Bar was pouring some excellent Arizona wines including the Southwest Wine Center Monsoon, Sand Reckoner R and Page Springs, Mules Mistake. They have a fabulous outdoor patio and serve Arizona Wine, Beers and Mead. Small Batch winery which is right next door, is a unique company that has a excellent wine inventory and creates special wine events. They were pouring a bourbon barrel aged Chardonnay and a Red Blend from Beringer. In addition to these two wonderful businesses, one of the largest Vineyards in Arizona, Carlson Creek, had their winemaker pouring their Rule of three, GSM blend, of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. We are all very excited because Carlson Creek is moving into the space where Firemountain Winery was. They will be remodeling the interior and will be a new addition to the tasting rooms in Old Town, hopefully by sometime in July. Food was supplied by Little Moos which has a nice selection of gluten free options also.
Since I’m frequently taking guests on tours, I don’t have a lot of opportunity to try many of the new wine and beer releases. Yesterday, I had a break and decided to visit the Southwest Wine Center, which offers a Viticulture and Enology degree program in Clarkdale, AZ and has a lovely tasting room.
Their recently released 2016 Sunlight is 100% estate grown and is comprised of 62% Malvasia Bianca and 38% Viognier. It has 13.2% alcohol and was fermented in neutral oak for 8 months. This is the first 100% estate grown white blend that the Center has released, and a real gem. It has very pleasant, bright acids with a touch of floral, kiwi and butterscotch. The bottle also states tropical fruits and key lime notes. The price is $25 and with only 24 cases produced, you don’t have much time left to grab up this wine.
Other new estate releases slated to be released soon are Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo.
#MalvasiaBianca,#Viognier, #SouthWestWineCenter, #ArizonaWine, #SedonaDeliversWineTours
Sue Schurgin is the manager of Sedona Wine and Beer Tours. She is studying for her CSW and sommelier certifications.