San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (kimptonhotels.com) has come up with a way to help protect our home planet simply by mingling and sipping wine. The chain recently rolled out its Wines That Care initiative at some 50 properties nationwide. The program entails a nightly wine hour in one of Kimpton's signature living-room lobbies, where guests can schmooze while enjoying a vintage quaff from a featured winery of the month, chosen for its responsible stewardship of the environment. Among the commitments of participating vendors:
• Barefoot Wine (Modesto, Calif.) created the Barefoot Wine and Surfrider Foundation to spur community volunteer efforts to clean up and restore the nation's beaches.
• Hayes Ranch by Wente Vineyards (Livermore, Calif.) features a progressive Farming for the Future program devoted to a balanced, sustainable ecology.
• Banrock Station (Australia) funds 60 projects worldwide, including the preservation of flamingos in Kenya and native ducks in New Zealand.