Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Think Globally, Drink Locally"

That's the motto at Pearmund Cellars, a winery in Broad Run that Gov. Tim Kaine toured on Monday with House of Delegates candidate Bill Day and Warrenton Mayor George Fitch. Pearmund uses geothermal technology to cut back on energy consumption.

It was a bit contradictory for Gov. Kaine to pull up to an alternative energy event in a Canyonero-esque Chevy Suburban (15 mpg city/20 highway). But as The Green Girlfriend pointed out, at least he was technically carpooling with his aides and security detail.

Gov. Kaine coincidentally focused on energy during a bizarre October heat wave. On Tuesday at Dulles Airport, the day's high shattered the old record by seven full degrees. The unusual heat didn't go unnoticed inside the tasting room. One server began "This is a good summertime wine," then laughed, "And it's still summer, isn't it?"

Dominion's proposed high-voltage transmission line was a hot topic (no pun intended) at the event. Bill Day questioned why conservation and effiency weren't being considered before a $1.4 billion, customer-funded transmission line. Gov. Kaine said he was especially worried about the federal government unilaterally making decisions on the line without listening to Virginia voices. You can get more details on the proposal at the Piedmont Environmental Council's website.

On such a hot, humid day, we were eager to check out what's literally and figurately the winery's coolest feature -- its geothermally-temperature-controlled barrel room:

The 7,500-square-foot building holds the barrels of wine that are aging in a climate-controlled atmosphere. The new winery is environmentally sound. "We're heated and cooled by geothermal," [Chris Pearmund] explained. "We're taking water from 400 feet deep and using it to heat and cool this place. It's much more environmentally-friendly, and it pays for itself in the long run."
I asked why Pearmund doesn't make organic wine. Our server lamented that organic wine is hard to manufacture and even harder to get right. However, she said they try to use as few pesticides as possible.

We ended up heading home with half a case of Pearmund wines. But you don't have to drive out to Broad Run -- you can get Pearmund in stores across Virginia, with a full listing on Pearmund's website. Remember, when you buy Virgnia wine, you're not just helping a local business, you're helping the environment by consuming a product that didn't have to be shipped halfway around the world. I'll drink to that!

Cross-posted from

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