Organic wines are generally made from grapes grown on vineyards that have been managed without the use of synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides.
Instead, organic winegrowers rely on ecological processes and naturally derived products focusing on soil and vine health by nurturing a diverse, rich community of plants, soil, insects, and microorganisms. To simplify it even more, Joelle has her Top Ten Tips to help us out...
1. Organic wine production is growing strongly in New Zealand, due to global and local demand for more transparency and fewer chemicals used in production practices.
2. Organic wine is made with no synthetic chemicals on the land
3. Independent certification verifies that a product can be labelled organic because it complies with agreed legal guidelines.
4. Only products that are certified organic can be labelled ‘organic’.
5. BioGro NZ is the leading organic certifier in New Zealand but there are others.
6. Over 10% of New Zealand wineries now hold organic certification (72 wineries out of 677 total wineries).
7. Central Otago has the highest percentage of organically certified vineyards in New Zealand with 16.7% now organic and another 6% actively converting, which will bring the total to 23% in the next three years. Nelson follows with 8.9% followed by North Canterbury with 7.9% and the Wairarapa with 7.4%.
8. Organic and biodynamic vineyard practices encourage more microbial and biodiversity in soil which means more worms and insects with natural controls.
9. Biodynamics is the next level of organic production the leading certifier in New Zealand is the global Organisation called Demeter.
10. The first winery to ever make an organically certified wine in New Zealand is Millton Vineyards in Gisborne.
Joelle Thomson is a wine writer, journalist and author. She’s an avid lover of wine and currently writes for Capital magazine, Good magazine, NZ Winegrower, Drinksbiz, and her own site,www.joellethomson.com
She also teaches, works in radio, and more, so we've enlisted her help to sniff out our amazing value wines!