From Microgreens to Winter Whites: Sustainable Wining & Dining at Winterlust

You’ve likely noticed the growing popularity of organic or biodynamic wines on the shelf, but to what degree that implies true sustainability depends on the vineyard.

Chances are, when you think about the eco footprint of your consumption, the impact of the wine you select for dinner isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. You’ve likely noticed the growing popularity of organic or biodynamic wines on the shelf, but to what degree that implies true sustainability depends on the vineyard.

gardens at kendall-jackson
The renowned gardens at Kendall-Jackson

A recent New York Times article showcased a few leaders in the pack, suggesting that Sonoma County is the pioneer for wineries that practice putting the planet first. As part of a larger agricultural push towards regenerative farming, the article names vineyards across Sonoma that have been taking steps towards carbon sequestration and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Their list begins with Kendall-Jackson, whose outlook on sustainability is a 360° view that incorporates water conservation, solar power, land conservation, and social practices such as supporting over 50 nonprofits and offering a $15 minimum wage.

But there is one element of Kendall-Jackson’s earth-centric approach that is unique unto them: Tucker Taylor, Kendall-Jackson’s Director of Culinary Gardens. With a background that includes five years as a grower for Thomas Keller’s famed The French Laundry in Napa Valley, he now oversees the renowned gardens at Kendall-Jackson. These seven gardens, over four acres, earned the Slow Food Snail of Approval in 2021, and provided organic produce for no less than 25 Michelin-starred restaurants.

Tucker TaylorTaylor’s proclivity for harvesting some of Northern California’s more unusual greenery will be of particular benefit to Winterlust guests: Kendall-Jackson, as presenter of the dining program at Wanderlust’s first-ever micro-festival, tapped Taylor to contribute some very special organic petit radishes and organic tatsoi (microgreens) to the plant-forward menu they’ve helped design at Winterlust. You can be sure that these unique flavors will be paired beautifully with selections hand-picked by the KJ Wines team.

If you can’t enjoy these specially-curated pairings with us in Taos Ski Valley at Winterlust, we’ve tapped Kendall-Jackson’s experts for some “winter white” suggestions to make the most of the snowy season:

  • Looking for a wine to bring to a holiday party that will please everyone? Arrive with Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay. A crowd-pleaser for almost three decades, this wine is Kendall-Jackson’s most popular wine. It’s fruit-forward, divinely complex, approachable and exceptionally food-friendly.
  • Does talk of snow leave you shivering and dreaming of the tropics? Then Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay is the winter white for you. This Santa Barbara Chardonnay is rich with tropical fruit, lemon, lime and floral aromas, and a touch of vanilla and spice round out the finish. Hearty enough to pair with roasted winter root veggie and more.
  • If you’ve got consecutive holiday parties and are looking to keep things light, Kendall-Jackson’s new Lower Calorie Chardonnay is your go-to wine: bright and balanced, delivering the quality you know and love with just 85 calories and 3 grams of carbs per serving.

When it comes to raising a glass this winter, it helps to look beyond the label to find out what your wine of choice is doing to ‘get back to the garden’. In the words of Tucker Taylor, “For me, [sustainability] is a practice, a way of life. I feel that grapes, or any type of produce, produced in a sustainable manner are not only better for the environment, but better for society.”