Sep 25 2008

Juicy green wine news

Published by at 3:21 AM under News and Trends,Savvy Sip Tips

This just in from Business Wire: “The wine industry is making a concerted effort to adopt environmentally responsible practices but sees a need for better education among both consumers and professionals on many ‘green’ issues, according to two surveys of wine industry professionals and executives conducted by Robert Smiley, professor and director of wine studies in the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.

The differences between sustainable (a philosophy) and organic (a legal description) are confusing. Throw biodynamics into the mix and you’ll really need a glass of wine!

You can go onto the Department of Agriculture’s website and view the regulations for organic wines vs. organic grapes. You can read about biodynamic certification online; you can even check out my August 2008 story for Sommelier Journal about the whole subject.

And you can simply stop by Just Grapes, where they have a large assortment of organic and biodynamic wines and can happily explain the differences. There’s even a section of the store devoted to these wines. Just Grapes owner and sommelier Don Sritong was instrumental in my education on the subject, even hosting Benzinger Wines this summer to explain from a biodynamic and organic producer’s perspective what it means and how it works.

One of Smiley’s recent surveys of winery and vineyard representatives “reflected a marked increase in businesses using sustainable practices. Eighty percent of the vineyard representatives participating in the survey said they have used sustainable farming practices on at least part of their acreage during 2008. And 46 percent of the respondents said they have been, or plan to be, marketing their grapes as ‘sustainable’ or ‘organic’ during the current or upcoming year.

“Survey participants from vineyard operations also reported that they are reducing their use of vineyard chemicals and mechanized equipment to deal with the rising cost of inputs.”

Wine makers and growers are into this. If you are too and want to know more precisely just what “this” is, stop by. And be sure to walk, take the train or ride your bike. We are being green here, right?

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