Picture the scene: a completely holistic winemaking system, based on biological dynamics and sustainability. The circle of life, occurring unobstructed, as something special is gently crafted in its midst.

Along a couple of lush California hillsides, one established winery incorporates the interconnectedness of the ecosystem to fully harness the geographic potential of the landscape. Despite many contemporaries mass-producing bottles of everything at a feverish pace, this one takes a slower approach to ensure that both the wine, and the land it comes from, continues to thrive.

Paul Dolan Vineyards, located in scenic Ukiah, California, prides itself on an organically grown product, with a colorful line of environmentally friendly wines that are as appealing to taste buds as they are to sustainability. Through progressive farming techniques, Paul Dolan Vineyards seeks to promote the health of the land in order to maintain the tasteful wines that pay the bills.

Numerous Cabernets can be found in California wine country, but many have a hard time boasting the eco-conscious design of Paul Dolan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. Assembly line production imposes on a wine’s taste, which is exactly the type of model Paul Dolan keeps a fair distance from. According to their mantra, if the land is taken care of, it will pay dividends to the stewards.

Two vineyards on opposite hillsides in the Ukiah Valley, face each other and produce the combination of varietals that make this oak-aged red such a delight. After a 16-month aging process, the 2010 Cabernet is now ripe and ready to enjoy during the short prime before the taste begins to wane with age. A word to the wise—you may want to try it soon.

Sporting a gentle nose for a Cabernet, this 2010 is rich with plum flavor and has a hearty weight that is competitive with contemporaries. Each sip sits on the tongue in a peculiar way that is indicative of the innovative winegrowing techniques incorporated by the craftspeople at Paul Dolan Vineyards. Given the process that makes each bottle possible, and the rich taste, one may think that the price would be far out of reach of the affordable. This is not the case. On average, each bottle of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon will run on the low end of $20. In terms of taste, competitors who can come close will run about $20 a glass. If you are conscious of the environment, but like to enjoy the luscious flavors of nature, this cabernet will hit the mark every time.

For pairing, trying matching the Cabernet with a hearty roast to access the refreshing plum flavors found in each sip. Best results with the roast call for olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest to add sharpness to the roast that is easily held at bay by a cabernet, particularly this 2010 from Paul Dolan. Barbeque pork chops also make for an essential pairing with this cabernet, which will work well to wash down the greasy sweetness of tangy barbeque sauce.

When trying a new wine, bravery never hurts. Price cannot be used as an excuse when not trying any of the responsibly grown wines from Paul Dolan Vineyards, and given the money spent, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is more than a worthwhile investment. While purchasing one bottle of sustainably produced vino may not save the world or fix the hole in the Ozone layer, it is definitely a step in the right direction that any type of producers can learn from.

For any who have experience purchasing organically grown products, often times the price and quality is reflective. This concept makes Paul Dolan an anomaly in a notoriously highbrow market.

So do the right thing and the next time you look for a bottle of wine to enjoy in the great outdoors, reach for one that will be as good to the environment as it is to your sobriety.

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