Drink a Bottle, Plant a Tree

The Arbor Day Foundation enjoins us to plant a tree on April 27, possibly in the manner of the multigenerational tableau presented on its website: Grandpa holds the shovel while grandkids tamp down the soil around a seedling, aided by encouraging parents. But suppose grandpa is off on the green, holding a golf club? And the brats are busy tending virtual gardens on their iPads? What if planting a tree could be as easy as uncorking a bottle of Chardonnay?

Napa-based Trinchero Family Estates promises that they will plant one tree for each bottle of their tree-themed Trinity Oaks brand of varietal wines sold. According to the website www.onebottleonetree.com, wine drinkers had planted 6,657,816 trees when this article was first drafted; by the following morning, the tally was 6,896,949. How do they keep such an accurate count?

By “plant a tree,” Trinchero means that they donate to Maryland-based Trees for the Future, which offers instruction in modern agroforestry techniques to farmers in underdeveloped countries—mostly in the tropics. Seeds are supplied, along with help and funding in starting nurseries. The “plant a tree” pledge, in other words, is less a one-to-one direct planting and more of a metaphor. But it still feels good, and with the kettle corn aromas and crisp apple cider flavor of Trinity Oaks’ 2010 California Chardonnay ($9), tastes good, too.