This week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, recognizing the importance of environmental consciousness, and the need to act now to reverse the reality of climate change. Napa Valley is a leader in sustainable farming and production practices, with leaders in the industry implementing Napa Green in the early 2000s with a certification program to recognize those who are working to protect Mother Earth. The Napa Valley Vintners set the goal for all of its eligible members will be in the Napa Green program by the end of 2020. The current world pandemic situation may move that goal a touch, but the ideas behind the program are still very much in action, perhaps even more now as the earth is taking the lock-down quarantine around the world as an opportunity to breath.
One in particular has had the principles of working sustainably since their start. Long before California Governor Gavin Newsome took over the leadership of the state, he followed his entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for wine into the business, creating Plumpjack Estate on the valley floor of Napa in 1995 with philanthropist Gordon Getty, with General Manager John Conover joining in 1998. Looking for an opportunity to expand to a mountain estate, the team created their Cade Estate Winery in the early 2000s, around the same time that Napa Green began. They found their home in the volcanic red soils of Howell Mountain, purchasing a 54 acre estate sitting at elevations ranging from 1500-1800 feet above sea level. Planting just 21 acres, leaving the remaining in a land trust to encourage the native, natural habitat to thrive, Cade Estate began with the outlook that environmental responsibility would be at the forefront, focusing on organic farming methods, and building their winery and caves with this responsibility in mind.
In 2010 Cade was awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, the first to achieve the certification in Napa Valley. Some key reasons why building and working with LEED principles is important, it minimizes the environmental impact on your land and the land of your neighbors, conserving water, energy, and materials. The solar powered winery was built from recycled materials, like old blue jeans. Since their first vintage in 2005, Cade Winery Estate has proved that when done well, with quality at the forefront, working organically can produce truly delicious wines.
Robust and powerful, pushing 16% alcohol, 2017 Cade Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($110) has an overall black fruit filled profile with black cherry, blackberry, and black plum melding with pepper, dark chocolate, and licorice. Aged 19 months in 100% French oak, 75% of which is new, giving the wine warm baking spice notes, along with an underlying note of toasted cedar and roasted espresso. The wine is delicious now, but would benefit from a few years of bottle aging, or decanting if you enjoy it now. #Cheers