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Sonoma County Millennials Wary of 'Green' Claims

biodynamic farming

Many companies who claim to be using environmentally friendly methods are being met with skeptics in the under-35 crowd. (KENT PORTER / PD FILE)

Greenwashing is the practice of paying lip service to environmental issues, and for the record, millennials loathe it.

As Forbes magazine put it in a recent story, “They are always on the lookout for corporate hypocrisy.”

At Sonoma County wineries, green comes in countless flavors: biodynamic farming, organic certifications, solar panels, environmental fundraisers, donations to environmental foundations and even parking lot charging stations for electronic cars. But how does this translate to the green wine drinker?

Several of these green palates, ages 33 and under, gave us their opinion while standing outside Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewery.

Luis Mazul, a 27-year-old food scientist at Amy’s Kitchen, said biodynamic farming is the only thing that really counts.

“The word ‘organic’ doesn’t cut it for me,” he said. “I’m in the food industry, and our government’s definition of organic is pretty lenient. In reality you could say water is organic when it comes from the faucet.”

Mazul, who lives in Santa Rosa, said biodynamic farming is the purest effort wineries can make.

“With biodynamic farming, there are different types of plants and animals in the same ecosystem coming together,” he said. “It’s nature taking care of itself.”

Meet Anthony Caspary, another green drinker with big opinions. The 33-year-old distiller said “having an organic certification is B-list for me.”

Caspary, who works at Ventura Spirits in Santa Barbara but was visiting Santa Rosa, said he’s also most impressed with biodynamic farming.

“I look up to Medlock Ames (Healdsburg) and Littorai Wines (Sebastopol) because I think you can taste it in the wines. I like wineries that grow their own grapes.”