A glass of wine that helps our birds – what’s not to like?
Wine that helps our birds and Turtle Dove success, plus more
In summer, perhaps your favourite reward for a hard day’s birdwatching is an icecold beer, a refreshing gin and tonic, or just a long soft drink. But, at this time of year, there’s not much better than a glass of bold, full-flavoured red wine. You’d savour it all the more, though, if you knew that buying it was going to make a practical difference to bird conservation, wouldn’t you? That’s the idea behind Paso-prima 2017, a blend of Garnacha and Cabernetsauvignon from the Spanish Pyrenees (pictured right) Winemakers Tom and Emma Holt, originally from Shrewsbury, created their Pasoprima series of wines with the intention of offering a variety not found in mainstream wines. Tom said: “So many big brands ignore the variable flavours found in different vintages in an effort to create a consistent product, but to me this misses one of the most exciting factors influencing wine. “The conditions our grapes grow in change every year so instead of hiding from the differences we wanted to highlight and celebrate them. That’s why each Paso-prima is unique; it could only be made in that specific year.” So far, so good. But what does it taste like? Purely in the interests of research and journalistic truth, you understand, my wife and I sampled the Paso-prima 2017, and can report that it is indeed, as Tom claims, bursting with bramble fruit, dark cherry and blackcurrant flavours. It’s utterly distinctive and very enjoyable. But we enjoyed it all the more knowing that 25% of the profits from it are going to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and because Tom and Emma use corks rather than screwtops in a bid to support vital habitat in Spain. Emma said: “We wanted to highlight the essential role that cork forests play in local and global biodiversity. “Many long-distance migrants, like Nightingale, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart are showing large declines, and they rely on the cork forests and the insects that live in them to fuel their onwards flights. “They also provide breeding grounds for some of the most endangered species of bird on the planet, and are home to some of our company’s mascots: the Wren.” So, a wine that supports bird conservation on two fronts – we can all drink to that, can’t we?
Paso-prima 2017 is available from Tanners Wine Merchants or direct from paso-primero.com
Traditional vineyards offer good habitat for some species
The vineyard is in the foothills of the Pyrenees
Paso-prima 2017 – bursting with flavour
Above: Winemakers Tom and Emma Holt and family