by Organic Wine Journal
on Dec 5, 2012
Three reasons weren’t enough, so Laura Collier has added a fourth installment on why she drinks organic wine over at The Wine Feed Blog. We always try to promote organic wines for their quality, but you can’t deny the farming benefits as well, which is what she discusses in this installment:
As discussed in my second and third blog posts, organic farming helps keep the soils, vines, and ecosystems healthy, and also protects biodiversity and water sources, thus enabling future generations of the farming community to successfully thrive. Organic farming is thus good for the long-term sustainability of a community. Furthermore, organic farming prevents damage to neighboring farms in the community by eliminating pesticide drift. In communities where some farmers utilize agrochemicals, some of these chemicals “drift” through the air or through soil/water runoff onto neighboring farms, causing damage to the crops and the land. A farm that utilizes organic practices does not do damage to its neighbor, and the community is better off as a whole.
Read her full post.
In 2013, Millésime Bio, the organic-wine trade show, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. From 28 to 30 January, the trade fair will take place at the Exhibition Centre in Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon (southern France), France’s leading region for organic-winegrowing. The trade show will have 700 exhibitors and is expected to attract 3,500 visitors.
Millésime Bio 2013 will welcome 700 exhibitors from all wine-producing countries and regions, along with an expected 3,500 visitors, highlighting the growing enthusiasm surrounding organic wines. The trade show will take place at the Exhibition Centre in Montpellier, at the heart of France’s largest organic-winegrowing region, i.e. Languedoc-Roussillon, in southern France.
Originally founded by a handful of Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowers, Millésime Bio now gathers the main buyers in the wine market each year: the trade fair attracts wholesale merchants, brokers, retail wine merchants, sommeliers, hospitality-industry professionals, and importers from across five continents.
The 20th anniversary of this major international event will take place early next year, between 28 and 30 January, bringing together participants from across the sector, including certified organic-wine producers from 11 countries in Europe, Africa, as well as North and South America.
To give but a few examples, Millésime Bio 2013 will host producers from a Chilean bodega located in the Maipo region of central Chile, as well as five Portuguese and six Austrian producers that did not attend the trade show in 2012. There will also be a number of returning exhibitors, including Lazanou and Waverley Hills from South Africa; Humbel from Switzerland; Egybev from Egypt; Frey Vineyards, which is America’s first organic winery, based in California; and, finally, a range of producers from France, Italy and Spain.
With approximately 900 samples from numerous wine-producing regions from across the globe, the Challenge Millésime Bio 2013 continues to assert its standing as a major international wine competition. This year, the tastings by a jury of wine professionals will take place on 27 November 2012.
During the trade fair, in January 2013, visitors and exhibitors to Millésime Bio 2013 will be invited to a cocktail party, which will take place at 7.00pm in Hall 7, where the prizes for the competition will be awarded. (Exact date of the party to be confirmed.) Thierry Julien, Chairman of Sudvinbio, the trade show’s organisers, and Michael Apstein, President of the Challenge Millésime Bio 2013 jury, will award the gold medals at the party.
There will be a host of significant events happening during the trade show that will foster dialogue in relation to key issues affecting the sector. These events include a round table organised by Agence Bio, France’s Agency for Organic Agriculture, on the subject of European winemaking and new European regulations. There will also be the International Business Convention organised by the Wine Department of Sud de France Export, the regional development agency for the region of Languedoc-Roussillon.
In 2012, Millésime Bio welcomed 588 exhibitors from 13 countries and over 3,300 trade visitors, 22% of whom were from outside France. The trade show’s main visitors remained professionals from the Benelux countries (which made up 16.7% of non-French visitors), Germany (13%), North America (12.5%), and Scandinavia (11.5%).
France, which ranks second after Spain, is a key player in the worldwide organic-winegrowing market. Additionally, one in three people in France drinks organic wine on a regular or occasional basis (according to a survey conducted by polling organisation Ipsos), and France’s organic-wine market amounts to €359 million in value.
In 2011, there were over 61,000 hectares of land dedicated to organic-wine production in France, against 50,270 hectares in 2010. France’s organic-wine-producing vineyards have, therefore, increased their acreage by 21%, year on year. Since 2009, surfaces devoted to organic-wine production have increased almost threefold: the number of organic-winegrowing estates in France rose from 3,945 in 2010 to 4,692 in 2011.
Leading the industry, three French regions stand out: Languedoc-Roussillon (with 19,900 hectares, up 21% year on year since 2010), followed by Provence-Côte d’Azur in the south-east of the country (13,790 hectares, up 23%) and Aquitaine in the south-west (9,500 hectares, up 23%).
About Millésime Bio
The Millésime Bio trade show was launched in 1993 by a small number of Languedoc-Roussillon winegrowers who organised it to stimulate interest in, and to encourage a constructive dialogue around, organic wine.
The trade fair is organised by Sudvinbio, the trade association for organic-wine producers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
The 20th Millésime Bio organic-wine trade fair will take place from 28 to 30 January 2013 at the Exhibition Centre, in Montpellier (Languedoc-Roussillon).
For further information, please go to: www.millesime-bio.com
by Organic Wine Journal
on Nov 8, 2012
Over at The Wine Feed, Laura Collier has written a three part post on why she drinks organic wine. From Part 1:
For a long time, well before I paid attention to the farming techniques of different wineries, I valued wines that have character. The common theme among most of my favorite wines is not a specific flavor or aroma or weight or grape or country or structure; rather it is personality and expression. Once I became interested in organic farming, and began looking into the farming methods of some of my favorite producers, I noticed that a large proportion of my favorite wines were crafted from organically farmed grapes. I don’t know why – perhaps it’s the complex soils and healthy vines undamaged by pesticides, perhaps it’s the extreme care and attention the wineries put into the wines, perhaps it’s the natural fertilizers that are used – but I have found that organic wines are more likely to have that vibrant expression, clarity of fruit, thought-provoking complexity, and unique personality than wines produced by conventional farming.
From Part 2:
Once the industrial chemicals have been released into the vineyard, they can have detrimental effects on the soils, grapevines, and overall ecosystem. Chemicals can damage plants by weakening the root systems of the plant, and can also damage the plant’s immune system. Grapevines are particularly sensitive to some herbicides, and herbicide injury to grapevines can last for several years after the application. The herbicides can reduce the vigor, yield, and fruit quality of the grapevine, weaken the vine’s immune system, and shorten the life of the vineyard. Industrial chemicals can also degrade the soils of vineyards, by reducing concentrations of essential plant nutrients. Furthermore, the overall ecosystem is damaged as beneficial insects, worms, and microorganisms are wiped out by industrial chemicals.
And Part 3:
Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is integral to the sustainability of balanced ecosystems. Pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers have been proven to reduce biodiversity and thus endanger the stability of ecosystems. Several types of pesticides are toxic to beneficial insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, or fish. These pesticides accumulate in the food chain and can affect many more species than only those that were directly exposed to the pesticides. Also, pesticides and herbicides also can reduce the abundance of weeds, grass, and insects that are food sources for many species, and they can damage wildlife habitats by altering vegetation structure.
by Organic Wine Journal
on Oct 9, 2012
Read the full story at Wine-Searcher:
During the Italian summer that has just ended, two officers from the agriculture ministry paid a surprise visit to the Enoteca Bulzoni wine store in Rome, which has been operating on the Viale Parioli since 1929. Its owners, Alessandro and Ricardo Bulzoni, grandsons of the founders, were formally notified that they would be fined – and possibly prosecuted – for selling “vino naturale” (natural wine) without certification.
But therein lies the sting: While it is against the law in Italy to sell natural wine without certification, it is also impossible to sell it with certification, since no such category of wine exists under Italian law.
A ministry official quoted in the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano explained that “the phrase ‘natural wine’ does not exist and, therefore, does not correspond with the accepted appellations, and, for this reason, it is not verifiable.” He continued: “No similar appellation exists in the regulations that govern the commercialization of wine in Italy or in the European Union.”
The official added that the regulatory regime was designed to protect the consumer. Using the label “natural wine” was misleading to the public, he said, and damaging to the Italian wine industry.
When the owners of Enoteca Bulzoni were duly fined, Alessandro Bulzoni said: “I’m not complaining about the fine itself, but about the legislative loophole in the definition of the term ‘vino naturale.’”
Legally, natural wine in Italy is in the same position as in the rest of the world: there is no official, universally accepted definition of “natural wine,” and unlike organic wine, there are no “natural wine” certifying bodies. (Organic wine is different from natural wine in that it simply has to be produced from organically grown grapes, whereas the vinification of natural wine is as important as the grapes from which it is made.)
by Organic Wine Journal
on Oct 5, 2012
How does an organic wine from France crack the U.S. market? Gilles Louvet sent sales manager Laura Bret to find out. From Wine-Searcher:
In September 2010 – the same year that the United States overtook Europe as the largest market for organic products – Louvet sent an emissary to set up a New York office. Newly appointed national sales manager Laura Bret arrived in America armed with just one range of wine that was legally allowed to carry the United States’ organic seal of approval: O by Gilles Louvet. The other seven wines she had to offer were not allowed to say they were organic, despite Louvet’s European credentials, since American authorities required an additional three-year certification process.
Within a month, Bret had begun working with a distributor and pounding the pavements of New York City. One day, she found something promising: a small new restaurant in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan.
“When I saw that there was an organic wine bar opening, focused on Mediterranean wines, I just thought, ‘Okay, he has to be my client,’” says Bret, whose slight French accent is beginning to pick up a hint of New York.
She called owner Özgür Delikanli to arrange a tasting at his restaurant, Lallisse. Delikanli immediately selected wines to serve by the glass: a rosé, a sauvignon blanc and a cabernet sauvignon. More than 150 accounts later, Lallisse is still one of Louvet’s best clients in New York.
Bret has now imported a total of 60,000 bottles to serve customers in the states of New York, New Jersey, Maine, Texas, South and North Carolina, Florida and Michigan. To cope with demand, a second full-time person, brand ambassador Arnaud Fressonnet, was recently hired to focus exclusively on New York and New Jersey.
Read the full story.