Organic Wine Vineyards

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Organic wine vineyards produce what may be arguably referred to as the most naturally flavorful wine on the market. Organic farming techniques pay careful attention to the health of the soil, the vines, and the grapes. Healthier grapes taste better. Better grapes mean better wines.

The very foundation of European viticulture is built upon the concept that wine grapes are cultivated in earth in which they may thrive. Only the best grapes are accorded the privilege of being chosen for wine production. European appellations have stringent laws on the subject. If a wine grape cannot meet its maximum potential in a given plot of earth--if it is not rich soil, resulting in the healthiest possible grape--then that wine grape may not be planted in that soil. Period. The emphasis has always been on the health of the grape itself.

Unfortunately, modern commercial grape farming undermines the original intent of these laws. Commercial farming techniques apply chemical fertilizers and pesticides freely. These fertilizers seep into the soil, where they are absorbed by the roots of the grape vines. The roots send these chemicals up the vine, and into the fruit itself. Chemical pesticides, sprayed on the skins, permeate the flesh, where they're absorbed into the meat of the fruit itself. The result, to be perfectly frank, is fruit fed with poison from below and without. A poisoned grape, no matter how many genetic treatments are applied to plump it up, is an unhealthy grape. And an unhealthy grape is simply not the best option for wine.

Bringing Craft Back to the Table

Organic wine vineyards operate under a different paradigm. They strive to meet a higher standard, not just in viticulture, but in how they treat the earth, and the way they respect the beings to whom they sell their product. Organic compounds are used instead of chemicals. The soil is given an opportunity to rest between harvests.

Unlike the giant commercial grape-producing factories, the ultimate goal of organic wine makers isn't making the greatest possible profit. Rather, their goal is creating the great possible product--by using nature as a partner, not a slave, and operating in a conscientious, care-full manner. Organic wine vineyards place their emphasis on craft and quality, and in doing so, create wines that are worthy of their efforts.


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