NELEMAN WINES: SAVING THE PLANET A BOTTLE AT A TIME
Neleman Wines is saving the planet in the best way possible: with wine!
Although the art of winemaking is often clouded with words that sound daunting, the philosophy of internationally-acclaimed brand Neleman Wines is actually quite simple: crafting mind-blowingly good wines in a responsible, ecologically friendly way.
Unlike most commercial wine brands, the company has, from inception, been staunchly committed to protecting the nature and culture which enable wine production - but the best part? They do not compromise on flavour. They produce some delicious organic wines that don't leave you with the most bitter aftertaste: guilt!
Every aspect of their production process has been carefully crafted to honour the unique heritage and biodiversity of the hinterlands of Spain. With new wine trends emerging, this company presents a fresh way to get involved in the sustainable revolution - by supporting organic, vegan winemaking!
(We’re just saying there are far less fun ways to protect the environment- such as those that don’t involve wine!)
ORIGINS: FROM THE NETHERLANDS TO THE HINTERLANDS OF VALENCIA
If anything, we consider the story of how Dutch-born Derrick Neleman created Neleman Wines, proof that love for good wine can take you anywhere!
Neleman’s interest in clean wines began with his studies to become a biodynamic farmer, but he was later inexplicably drawn to the vineyards in Spain. During his time there, he grew to realise and appreciate the cultural and historical significance of wine and its unique ability to act as a binder in civilisation.
Wine brings people together - it is present at the most joyous and celebratory of occasions, and it, in turn, deserves to be celebrated and enjoyed.
If any of us are still here drinking good wine in fifty years, we’ll have the honest work of people like Derrick Neleman to thank. He built his entire brand on his desire to protect the environment and winemaking ecosystem for the generations to come.
Neleman has referred to himself as a storyteller of wine, a beautiful depiction of its enduring place in society, with all its cultural variations!
Less than a decade since he began his venture, Bodegas Neleman has become one of the world's foremost vegan wine brands, created from organically farmed grapes and boasting eco-conscious packaging.
SAVING INDIGENOUS GRAPES: REVOLUTIONISING TRADITIONAL VITICULTURE
Organic vineyards are more of a rarity than you might expect. Recent estimates found that only 4.6% of all the world’s vineyards are organic.
If you want to be an eco-conscious consumer, here’s an important question to ask yourself: what price are you really paying for your bottle of wine?
With commercially produced non-organic wines, there is always the danger that ‘poison’ might be sprayed on the vines as part of traditional viticulture. In addition, some local grape varieties are forgone in favour of the more popular grapes brought from other regions, despite the ecological havoc this could wreak!
As Neleman has explained, there are devastating environmental consequences that go hand in hand with uprooting and replanting grape varieties. This includes bee deaths, loss of biodiversity, and the increased need for pesticides and fertilisers. Sometimes the grapes do not even ripen as they should because they are forced to grow in places they do not belong in.
WHAT SETS NELEMAN APART?
At Neleman Wines, they make sure that you’re not getting more than you bargained for when you buy a bottle of wine - that being unknowing ecological destruction. (Needless to say, not exactly the side dish you want served with your bottle of red or white - we recommend cheese instead).
Therefore, the company works as closely as possible with local grape varieties from Valencia's hinterlands and has committed to saving indigenous grape varieties from destruction. They’ve done this in the past with the Verdil grape, of which only 50 hectares were planted. With its restoration due to their efforts, the Verdil grape now offers a fantastic wine with a unique flavour found in many Neleman wines!
The company also farms other indigenous varieties and blends of grapes. These include Tardana, Bobal, Monastrell, Marselan, Tempranillo, and Garnacha, which hark back to the origin of Spanish wine.
However, their wines have one thing in common - they are entirely organic, vegan, and climate-neutral. This means that they are made without pesticides or additives, as found in almost all other commercial wine brands.
FROM THE WINE TO THE CORK: RESTORING THE ENVIRONMENT
As you’ll see through even a cursory glance of their website, the company is insatiable in their quest for responsible production! They are the green rockstars and proud trailblazers of several other sustainability initiatives, all of which aim to protect the art of winemaking for the generations to follow.
Neleman Wines plants a tree in the Hoces del Cabriel Natural Park - the breathtaking site of their wine production. This simple but giving act helps reduce CO2 emissions, increases the land's biodiversity, and restores the local landscape.
Unlike many other growers in the market, Neleman Wines has also not substituted a natural cork for materials such as plastic or aluminium. The reason behind this is not just because oak looks so much cooler than a plastic cork, but because a cork oak compensates for the CO2 emissions of the trees and plays a vital role in curbing forest fires. After the bottles are sold, they even collect the corks for reuse.
Most commercial wines are also clarified with protein of animal origin. Neleman Wines instead goes above and beyond by using an innovative vegetable protein obtained entirely from peas. This means that all their wines are certified vegan by the British Vegan Society.
However, although they stick to traditional production methods, their wines are by no means standard or run-of-the-mill creations. Their portfolio features some kick-ass modern wines full of balance, richness, and freshness, with no excessive oak or overly mature overtones.
Neleman Wines is located in the historical town of Casas del Rey in Valencia, Spain, at one of the highest points in the Valencian Community. It is in the heart of the Hoces del Cabriel Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This high altitude and elevation work in their favour, slowing the ripening of their wines and preserving their acidity, which creates a fresh wine that is both slender and expressive. The unique terroir of the surroundings gives Neleman Wines a deeper, more authentic flavour profile.
You can find their collection on the Brown Bag Wines website here.
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