In recent years winemakers have come to hear the demand for organic wines, and sustainable farming. More than ever, organic wine is easy to find, better for your health, and available at every price and quality level. There are three main types of organic wine out there: Certified Organic, Certified Biodynamic, and Sustainability in Practice.
Certified Organic Wine
In the United States, Organic Wine is defined as “a wine made from organically grown grapes, without added sulfites”. The certification of organic wines is overseen by the USDA’s National Organic Program. The USDA requires that 100% of grapes are grown organically, as well as the yeast used in fermentation. Winemakers are also prohibited from using genetic engineering in the vineyards.
The biodynamic principals are based on the work of Rudolf Steiner. He had the perspective to view a farm as a complete ecosystem, and as a true living organism, not just as rows of crops. In addition to the use of organic farming methods, biodynamic farming includes natural treatments for pest management, fertilizing and harvesting in rhythm with the lunar cycle, and a dedication to biodiversity and the well being of the local animal population.
Sustainable In Practice
Starting in 1996, The Vineyard Team has been putting into practice a truly sustainable model for wineries. Going far beyond the certifications of organic or biodynamic, Sustainable in Practice looks at the winemaking process down to the conservation of energy and water, recycling of materials, and sustainability in packaging of the wines. Over 60,000 acres are now following SIP practices.
Where do I find organic wine?
With the growing number of Organic, Biodynamic, and SIP certified wines out there, you can walk into just about any store that sells wine to find what you’re looking for! Here are some widely available wines to try:
- Araujo (Biodynamic)
- Beckmen Vineyards (Biodynamic)
- Cambria (SIP)
- Chamisal (SIP)
- Frog’s Leap (Certified Organic)
- Grgich (Biodynamic)
- Hahn (SIP)
- Joseph Phelps (Biodynamic)
- Niner (SIP)
- Opolo (SIP)
- Parducci (Biodynamic)
- Qupe (Biodynamic)
- Robert Hall (SIP)
- Sea Smoke Cellars (Biodynamic)
- Spottswoode (Certified Organic)
- Staglin (Certified Organic)
- Tablas Creek (Biodynamic)
- ZD (Certified Organic)