Item: Organic? Biodynamic? Sustainable? What do these terms mean and what's the best way to farm? The answer, of course, is outrageously complex. Slate did a fine job tackling the question, given the size of the piece. They gave sustainable farming short shrift, however, as we point out in the comments. The big knock on "sustainable" is that it is ill-defined. True, but that's not as big a problem as it seems. Bigger, we feel, is that the threshold for calling yourself sustainable under the certification systems is pretty low. If you'd like to learn more about sustainable grape growing, take a look at the Lodi Rules program, and the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
For the record, PWR Syrah comes from the CCOF Organic Massa Ranch, in Yountville, Napa Valley, while our 2010 Grenache comes from the Hunters Oak Vineyard, farmed sustainably in accordance with the Lodi Rules.
Item: Our quest to discover new ways to package wine continues. Today we learned about Indulge Wine in pouches, which is basically bag-in-box without the box. 2 wines are available in 1.5L pouches (equivalent to 2 standard wine bottles). Retail price is $20 each for 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (North Coast) and 2009 Pinot Noir (Central Coast). Available only in California at present. We hope to find the wines soon to report on their quality.
We also learned about Boisset's new twist on bag-in-box....bag-in-barrel. We're not sure we see the point, as the barrel will take up more space than a box and counteract some of the environmental benefits of BiB (less packaging, lighter weight), but as this article states, it would make a good conversation piece. And Boisset points out that the barrel is re-fillable, so it would only be transported once.