If you didn’t do your homework beforehand, you could walk into Flight 112 thinking it is a run-of-the-mill wine bar. But this organic wine bar is more than what meets the eye … or palate.

Flight 112 Wine House

Seventy percent of the wine served at Flight 112 Wine House falls under the categories of sustainable, organic or biodynamic.

“Taste and quality matter most,” says owner Visal Kheam. “No one wants to drink a ‘green’ wine if it doesn’t taste good.”

“It makes my work more difficult, trying to filter out only organic wine, but that makes it all the more interesting. Over time, I’ve come to realize that organic wines are earthier, with less fruits on the palate. They go better with food. Organic wine makes a great story,” Kheam says.

As a practice, Flight 112 rotates out the wine and food menus every four months. This spring, menus will focus on California: a majority of wines from Sonoma County and food with a California flair.

Flight 112 does a lot more than just support organic winemakers.

“When we first opened three years ago, we changed our garbage collection program,” says Kheam. “We introduced recycling bins for cardboard, plastic, paper and lots of wine bottles. We also save corks and send them to Recork.org, which specializes in making SOLE products (shoes).

“And I’m a big believer in supporting the local community,” Kheam continues. “It’s probably the only sure thing as a business that we can hang our hat on.”

Flight 112 supports the Elmhurst/Yorkfield Food Pantry. Each Wednesday, customers are treated to half-off the extensive Craft Beer menu if they donate $5 to the food pantry.

“It’s a great way for customers to try our beers,” Kheam says. “Most of them are not familiar beers that you’ll find in the grocery stores.”

Organic wine. Recycling. Cork collection. Community support.

We’ll drink to that.

‘Green’ Wine Terminology

Organic: The definition of organic wine varies, but almost always means that a reputable, third party certification agency has certified the grapes used in the production of the wine are 100 percent organically grown, free from the use of chemicals. In particular, no pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or chemical fertilizers can be used.

Sustainable: A holistic approach to growing grapes that respects the environment, the ecosystem and even society.

Biodynamic: Endorses the concept of “harnessing” life energy in growing grapes. Biodynamic farming pays homage to traditional farming, with no chemicals (organic), and incorporates the spiritual and cosmic energies in farming activity.

– Organic Consumers Association