Wednesday night I had a single, essential mission: we were getting Thai food for dinner and I needed a wine to go with it. An intense Googling session assured me that a Riesling was just the thing and so after the requisite time spent gawking at the different labels on display at the store, we absconded with a bottle of A to Z Winework’s 2016 Oregon Riesling.
It was a perfect complement to the spiciness of our Thai takeout: crisp, slightly sweet, and dry. This fresh and springy wine cut through the spice to meld with the flavors in noodles and helped me actually survive my short-lived attempt to intensify my takeout spice game.
Cleaning up later, I noticed something about the bottle that I hadn’t seen initially; in addition to the lovely art there was a little note on the back of the bottle that mentioned that a portion of the sale went to support bee research. Curious, I went to find out more about the winery and the research that it supports.
Here’s what I learned: A to Z Wineworks is located in Newberg, Oregon, and is a certified B Corp and four-time recipient of B Corp’s “Best for the World” honor. B Corporation’s website describes certified B Corps as “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” On the 2018 list of “Best for the World” honorees, A to Z Wineworks was recognized for its commitment to both the community and to the environment, and for being overall good for the world.
A to Z Winework’s website breaks down part of what those commitments mean to them: they pay 100% of their workers above the local living wage and over 50% of management are women or individuals from under-represented populations. They collaborate and lend support to community partners, and source 100% of their grapes locally in Oregon. Their support of bee research and health is part of their commitment to environmental stewardship. Since 2015 they’ve been partnered with Oregon State University’s Honey Bee Lab and the Xerces Society in Portland, a science-based non-profit conservation group. Additionally, they work with Bee Girl in Southern Oregon, which describes itself as a “nonprofit with a mission to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our food system.”
Kate Quinn, Marketing Manager of A to Z Wineworks, says that these partnerships help fund “research and equipment purchase, offer workshops for home gardeners, and establish healthy habitats for bees and other pollinators.” Bees aren’t necessary for pollination of their own vineyards, but A to Z Wineworks recognizes that bees play an important role in the vineyard by encouraging biodiversity. Bee-friendly flowers “help protect vineyards from erosion, help regulate vine growth, and increase the soil’s water-holding capacity.”
So, not only was their Riesling delicious but A to Z Wineworks seems to be making good on their promise to bee the change they wish to see in the world.
“The Essence of Oregon.” A To Z Wineworks,
Lab, B. “How a Company Can Be Best For The World.” B The Change, B The Change, 29 Mar. 2018, bthechange.com/how-a-company-can-be-best-for-the-world-d4b22526afa3.