Scott Pactor, age 36, owner
Appellation Wine & Spirits
On a sabbatical in South America, accountant Scott Pactor decided his passion was wine, which he began studying when he returned to New York City. After working as a sommelier, he opened Appellation Wine & Spirits, where nearly 70 percent of the wines are ecofriendly and employees use public transit to make deliveries. appellationnyc.com
Q: Why did you decide to focus on earth-friendly wines?
A: I was looking for wine with a sense of place and personality, and I kept coming back to the bottles that were organic or biodynamic. The fact that they're good for the environment is a bonus.
Q: Organic wine hasn't always had a reputation for excellence. Why was that?
A: In the past, a few producers marked their wine as organic, but they weren't necessarily making good wine. Others weren't storing their bottles properly. If the growing area has a propensity for rot, making wine organically does become more difficult.
Q: What regions should consumers look to for good organic wines?
A: In France, the Loire Valley, Alsace, and the Burgundy region, and Oregon and California in the United States. And from Austria, we have a liter bottle of organic Gruener Veltliner for $10. People can't believe how good the quality is at that price.
--interview by Jennifer Hattam