Today I’m wondering which country has the most organic wine producers? I would think it would be France but it’s possible that it is New Zealand. I have been searching for the answer but haven’t yet found it. If someone has research on this please send it to me. While thinking about this topic, I began to think about the problem of the definition of organic wine. Does that included organically certified and then if certified does the wine have to be certified as well or only the grapes. To make matters even more complicated, certification standards are different in each country. I don’t have a metric for this and it would be interesting to see if anyone has created an index that measures this in different countries. Here’s a paper I found on the topic, while not definitive, it gives a good overview. Here too is an good introduction to the topic with definitions and reference to two defining initiatives in the field, the Guidelines for Sustainable Vitiviniculture (production, processing, and packaging of products) and the Global Wine Sector Sustainability Principles Project.
From my own travels and conversations, I’m certainly seeing a lot of producers converting to organic farming and looking for certifications, including those who initially were not and who I am surprised and pleased to learn are focused on this.
Additionally, I’m wondering what is included in these certifications and practices worldwide? Does it include water usage, disposal of refuse from the winery, pesticides, sulfur use, etc, etc, etc. Is there also a human component, meaning the way workers are treated and even livestock on the farm. It’s a very complicated question and I think I will dive into it these next few months and see what I discover so maybe by the end of the quarter I can cite a number or a study with some facts behind it rather than just conjecture.