Here’s a look at some of the events being planned by Southern California and Central Coast wineries in conjunction with Earth Day 2011…
* Ancient Peaks Winery (Paso Robles): Take a free tour of Ancient Peak’s sustainably farmed Margarita Vineyard and historic Rancho Santa Margarita on Earth Day. By appointment only.
Info: 805-365-7045, or www.ancientpeaks.com
* Claiborne & Churchill Vintners (San Luis Obispo’s Edna Valley): Claiborne & Churchill is offering a Green Building Tour and Wine Tasting on April 17 to celebrate Earth Month. Tour six San Luis Obispo Green Buildings and learn how people on the Central Coast are incorporating green building into their homes and businesses – including Claiborne & Churchill’s straw bale winery. Enjoy a different C&C wine at each stop, paired with small tasty bites. The three-hour tour will begin at Claiborne & Churchill Winery at 1 p.m., and tickets are $25 per person.
* Earth Day Eco-Ride Through Organic Vineyards (Santa Cruz Mountains Wine Region): Tour the CCOF-certified organic vineyards of Cooper-Garrod and Silver Mountain on horseback every weekend in April, plus Earth Day (April 22). The Eco-Ride tour starts from the Garrod Farms Riding Stables (in Saratoga, Calif.) with a docent-led horseback ride through Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards and the oak chaparral forest of Fremont-Older Open Space, with spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay and the Santa Clara Valley. Following the ride, enjoy wine tasting and an al fresco lunch at Cooper-Garrod. Next, drive to Silver Mountain for wine tasting with a tour of the organic vineyard and Silver Mountain’s “Triple Green” installation, which includes the largest solar array in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Normally $99, the combined tours are $89 in April – available by reservation only and limited to 15 each day.
Reservations: 408-867-8430, or email email@example.com
* Pomar Junction Vineyard & Winery (Paso Robles): The winery is hosting an “Earth Day Food & Wine Festival” April 15-17, featuring unlimited samples of seasonally based dishes, tasting opportunities from more than 150 Central Coast wines, live music, and access to farmers who nurture a healthy environment. Tickets for the grand tasting and weekend activities range from free to $100. Barrel tastings, cooking demonstrations, concerts, and farm tours complement the main festival and take place throughout weekend. Event proceeds support research, demonstration, and farm worker outreach programs of the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable winegrowing since 1994.
Info: www.earthdayfoodandwine.com or 805-369-2288
* Santa Cruz Mountains Organic Wine Trail: Four Santa Cruz Mountains wineries are showcasing their CCOF-certified organic vineyards on Saturday, April 23, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Learn more about growing organic winegrapes and taste wines at Cooper Garrod in Saratoga; Silver Mountain, along Summit Road between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz; Vine Hill in Santa Cruz; and Alfaro Family Vineyard in Corralitos. The cost for the self-guided tour is only the tasting fee/policy set by each winery, which totals $35 for all four. Guided tours with local transportation providers also are available.
* Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association: In honor of Earth Day on April 22, the TVWA and its 34 member wineries will launch a partnership with ReCORK, a cork recycling program whose goal is to recycle natural corks and highlight the crucial role cork forests play in curbing climate change. To kick off the program, the association is holding a “wine cork recycling” contest, in which the wineries will compete to create art, jewelry and other playful items from used wine corks.