2011 was certainly a year in ferment — more of the world was bubbling with change than any time we can remember… since perhaps 1969 (Yes, I go that far back.). Political and economic revolutions swept the globe. There was a desire for change and, hopefully freedom, in countries that had been written off for decades. The Occupy Movement went viral and global and if you throw in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and this week Moscow, the movement has captured a large portion of the globe. I suspect that if the Chinese and other dictatorial nations of the world allowed true internet freedom and access to opposing ideas, the planet would move even faster towards freedom and justice. Truth is a very potent beverage.
What does this have to do with wine and organic, Biodynamic and natural wine? Actually, a lot. We now know that given a choice, people everywhere want to do the right thing, but what is that “right thing?” Well, for starters it is, as Hypocrites said, “First do no harm.” When it comes to wine that means many things. Not harming the earth with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides for example. Not poisoning animals living in the soil, on the ground, and on the vines, or those who eat them like birds. Being kind to humans too. Drinking organic wine prevents the vineyard workers and their families from exposure to cancer-causing toxic chemicals. A little self-love is a good thing too. As articles on our site have shown, toxic pesticide residuals are found in conventional wine. Why poison yourself and your friends? Wine is a way to celebrate life, not illness and death.
Economic justice is now on everyone’s mind. Here too organic, biodynamic and natural wines are part of the 99%. The growers and vintners spearheading this movement are small, local and true trustees of the land they cultivate. There not cogs in some faceless global beverage brand holding corporate retreats to outline sales incentives for the coming year. They don’t rely on deceptive, cutesy names and focused-group based logos to build consumer awareness. They, and those who distribute and retail, are the real deal — committed, dedicated people.
The artisans entering and sustaining the worldwide movement toward authentic food and drink continually encourage us. The ever-increasing plethora of growers, farmers’ market workers, chefs, bakers and restaurateurs trying to satisfy the tastes of an empowered, aware customer truly amazes us. Even the growing number of organic wine bars astounds.
So, as Organic Wine Journal rests for the holiday, we look forward to a new year filled with wonder. In 2012, we expect that pain will be part of delivering the baby of freedom and human decency that so many of the world’s people hopefully await.
We drink an organic toast to all those who are midwifing this process in whatever way they can.
We’d like to thank everyone who wrote, edited, and assisted The Organic Wine Journal in the past year. Your contributions are essential.