"Green Wine": An Organic Wine Chat with Yield Owners Celine Guillou & Chris Tavelli

In the U.S. and abroad, the movement towards embracing organic foods is evolving rapidly. It seems a day can not pass without new information emerging concerning the health benefits of organic foods. Major grocers such as Whole Foods and Molly Stone’s are popping up in cities across the U.S. as consumers embrace the health benefits –and better taste – of organic foods. IntoWine.com recently chatted with Celine Guillou and Chris Tavelli, the owners of Yield, San Francisco’s first and only “green” wine bar, about “green” wine and the Yield Wine Bar experience.

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What is the inspiration behind the name "Yield"?

Yield refers to the harvest of a particular year. This word comes up again and again in wine-related literature, particularly in reference to vineyards. Our name signifies our connection to the land and in particular the farming practices that we embrace.

Incidentally, it also means to give in, which corresponds to the other concept behind our wine bar -- a relaxing, lounge-like environment.

Your wine program is focused on serving the best "green" wines you can find. How do you define "green"?

The definitions of “green” abound, and it's important to distinguish organic wine from wines made with organic grapes. In our case, we are most interested in farming practices -- in wines that are made with organically and/or biodynamically grown grapes, whether certified or not. What is most important to us in this day and age is serving wines made by people who farm in an environmentally sound way. Some wine made by conventional means (i.e. with chemicals, herbicides, pesticides) can have traces of up to 250 chemicals. If, in addition, they do not add sulfites, thereby making a truly organic wine, that’s great too, although this has less to do with the environment. Generally, winemakers who farm organically or biodynamically aren't interested in dumping a ton of sulfites in their wines, so their sulfite levels are generally very low and close to the levels of naturally-occurring sulfites. Healthy grapes mean less manipulation, which in turn leads to a better, more authentic wine.

For more than 25 years, The California Wine Club founders Bruce and Pam Boring have explored all corners of California’s wine country to find award-winning, handcrafted wine to share with the world. Each month, the club features a different small family winery and hand selects two of their best wines for members.