Last night's wine couldn't have been opened at a more appropriate time. It was the Parducci Winery 2004 Mendocino County "True Grit" Petite Sirah ($25), and we savored its dark and meaty fruitiness just as Gov. Schwarzenegger was revealing his Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards for 2007.
One of the 18 recipients was the Mendocino Wine Company, Parducci's parent company, recognized by the governor as the first carbon-neutral winery in the nation, which it achieved with such measures as installing solar-power and wind-energy systems, converting company vehicles and farm equipment to bio-diesel, and switching to soy-based inks for its packaging. The company's efforts to go "green" were outlined in a Sacramento Bee article last month.
The company's "True Grit" petite sirah, incidentally, is just what fans of the varietal appreciate - inky color, floral smell, solid structure, and juicy berry flavors accented with a note of licorice. Company officials chose the name "True Grit" for the wine to represent the determination, optimism, patience and vision represented by Mendocino County's immigrant grape growers in the 1800s.
Local recipients of the governor's environmental awards were the Sacramento Tree Foundation and the Leonardo da Vinci School in Sacramento.