Organic Vs. Biodynamic Wine
We are often asked about the key differences of Organic vs. Biodynamic® wine. While ALL of the wines in our portfolio are grown and produced using 100% Organically Grown Grapes, and produced in accordance with USDA Organic Standards, there are many nuances between the viticulture and production of Organic vs. Biodynamic wines. We love each and every one of our quality wines and each winemaker has unique and proprietary farming and production techniques that make their wines distinctive. These methods and traditions, paired with a world of vastly different terroirs, ensure beautiful wines with a true taste of place. While the following is a very simplified overview, we encourage you to dig deeper with our more in-depth discussions of Organic and Biodynamic wine.
Organic Vs. Biodynamic
Viticulture & Production
- Organic agriculture reduces toxic chemicals in the environment, while encouraging biodiversity.
- Grapes are grown without excluded methods including most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetic engineering, ionizing radiation, or sewage sludge. Vineyards must be certified organic with the land free of the use of all prohibited substances for at least three years.
- Organic wine growers promote ecological biodiversity among the vineyards, allowing other plants to grow in and around the vineyard in order to attract beneficial insects and pollinators. Over time, organic vineyards develop a natural resistance to adverse weather, disease and insects and tend to produce higher quality and more robust grapes.
- Wine is produced and bottled in a certified organic facility. The facility can produce both organic and conventional wine, with authorized cleaning processes and agents between fermentations/bottling.
- Organic techniques are applied to winemaking including minimal processing and no use of chemical additives. 100% of the grapes used must be Certified Organic.
- When sold in the U.S., only wines certified in country as well as to U.S. National Organic Program (NOP) standards can legally say “Made with Organic Grapes” on the front of the label or carry the USDA Organic Seal if made without the use of added sulfites.
- There are two categories of organic wine in the U.S., based on the total amount of sulfites in the finished wine: 1) Made with Organic Grapes up to 100 ppm; 2) USDA Organic up to 10ppm.
- Biodynamic is “regenerative farming,” leaving the land better than it was found by improving soil fertility and thus, farm vitality.
- All of our Biodynamic wines contain 100% grapes that are certified organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic.
- The vineyards are managed as much as possible as a closed system — a self-contained and self-sustaining living organism — so solutions for the farm’s vitality- fertility, soil health, disease and pest control — arise from the farm itself instead of being imported from the outside.
- Biodynamic farmers create their own on-farm remedies- called Biodynamic preparations- instead of importing chemicals. These “preps” are made from materials found on the farm, and improve soil microbiology and fertility, enliven compost, and improve crop photosynthesis.
- Much like the well-known Farmer’s Almanac, there is a Biodynamic Calendar that lays out optimal times for every aspect of wine production from vineyard management to fermentation.
- Demeter is the oldest ecological certification organization in the world and is a is an independent, non-profit certification agency that has no corporate or government ties. For a wine to be referenced as “Biodynamic” in the marketplace, it must be Demeter certified.
- Find a list of our Demeter Certified Biodynamic wines here.