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Top Wines Approved by Gen-Z

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Following the recent publication of the latest “State of the U.S. Wine Industry” report and featured coverage in The New York Times-The Pour, Rob McMillan and Eric Asimov highlight the importance of a $15 price point in attracting younger wine consumers. However, for Generation Z, value is not the only factor they consider when choosing wines. In addition to affordability, Gen Z buyers prioritize quality, provenance, sustainability, and social responsibility when selecting their favorite brands. The following selection of wines from family-owned, female-led wineries not only offer exceptional quality but also promote sustainability and social causes, making them ideal choices for socially conscious consumers. And the best part is, they all come at an affordable price point. Here are the Gen-Z approved wines:

Tilia Malbec 2021 ($11) – Argentina

Tilia stands out as the first winery to feature the Bodegas de Argentina (BdA) sustainability certification on its label, showcasing its adherence to Argentina’s Sustainability Protocol. Beyond their sustainability efforts, Tilia actively supports the local community by providing educational and social programs, such as summer school initiatives for the children of harvest workers, which has increased female employment during harvest by 20%.

Quinta de Chocopalha Arinto Branco 2020 ($15) – Portugal

Crafted by Sandra Tavares da Silva, a pioneering female winemaker in Portugal, this Arinto Blanc from vineyards northwest of Lisbon offers a pure expression of the varietal. The wine is aged on lees for five months to soften its acidity. Sandra manages the family-owned Quinta de Chocapalha alongside her sister and parents.

Bodegas Borsao Rosé 2022 ($11) – Spain

This refreshing rosé from Campo de Borja DO in Spain is made from 100% Garnacha grapes. With a commitment to sustainability, Bodegas Borsao is now fully powered by renewable energy sources, including wind farms and solar panels. The winery actively engages its growers to transition to organic farming practices, receiving enthusiastic responses from a significant number of them.

Château de Fontenille Entre-deux-Mers Blanc 2021 ($15) – France

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Established in Bordeaux since the 13th century, Château de Fontenille’s vineyards thrive on gravel terroirs with a historical connection to the neighboring Abbaye de la Sauve Majeure. The property dedicates approximately 42 acres to growing Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Muscadelle, and Sauvignon Gris grape varieties.

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc 2022 ($15) – New Zealand

Hailing from Marlborough, New Zealand, this intense Sauvignon Blanc from Villa Maria showcases notes of gooseberry, passionfruit, and citrus. As a founding member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, the winery has implemented various sustainability initiatives, including planting native wildflower species in vineyards and developing efficient irrigation systems. Villa Maria also supports the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit initiative in New York City.

Yalumba Y Series Viognier 2021 ($15) – Australia

Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, boasts a legacy of six generations. The Viognier vineyard was planted in 1980, and the winery transitioned to producing 100% vegan wines in 2012. Louisa Rose, Yalumba’s chief winemaker, is widely recognized in the winemaking world for her expertise.

Fat Bastard Pinot Noir 2021 ($14) – France

In collaboration with Gabriel Meffre in Languedoc-Roussillon, the Fat Bastard Pinot Noir is known for its full-bodied, fruit-forward style. Veronique Torcolacci, the winemaker, holds a degree in oenology and has been making wine for over two decades, emphasizing sustainable practices in vineyard management.

Librandi Ciro Rosso 2021 ($15) – Italy

For four generations, the Librandi family has preserved indigenous vines in Calabria, Italy. Specializing in Gaglioppo, a prominent grape variety in the Cirò appellation, the family owns a varietal garden with over 200 vine varieties arranged in a unique spiral vineyard layout. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel to retain its fresh, youthful character.

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Zenato Pinot Grigio 2022 ($13) – Italy

From the Veneto region, the Zenato Pinot Grigio offers a balanced, elegant profile with classic floral and citrus notes. Nadia Zenato manages the family winery, while her brother Alberto oversees winemaking, continuing the family’s winemaking legacy.

Gai’a Monograph Moschofilero 2022 ($13) – Greece

Gai’a, known as the “Mother Earth” in Greek mythology, operates wineries in Santorini and Nemea, producing cutting-edge wines. The Moschofilero wine originates from vineyards in the Arcadian plateaus of Mantinia, overseen by Yiannis Paraskevopoulous and his daughter Leto.

Clean Slate Riesling 2021 ($12) – Germany

Named after the slate soils of the Mosel Valley, this Riesling offers fresh peach, lime, and mineral flavors with a hint of sweetness and low alcohol content, making it versatile for various dishes.

Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2019 ($13) – Chile

Root:1, the first winery in Chile with Wines of Chile sustainability certification, prioritizes energy conservation, water recycling for irrigation, and preservation of native flora and fauna through carbon offset measures.

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