by Charlie Barra
on Jul 6, 2010
If California does not provide an adequate water supply at reasonable cost to its agricultural industry, competition from globalization will soon turn the state into a third world country.
Additionally, most of the people working to find a solution to California water problems seem to have a hard time understanding the economic impact that the lack of water at reasonable prices has on the California economy and how this directly affects working families and the state’s tax base.
When agricultural land is abandoned or fruit trees and grape vines are taken out because of the lack of water, the assessed value of the property goes down. This results in decreased revenues for local services, thereby resulting in the loss of jobs for working families. Additionally, there is a measurable decrease in the income from production which reduces income taxes by billions of dollars to state and federal governments.
We must change the direction in which we have been going and make an investment to come up with new, innovative ways to support the agricultural endeavors that we’ve already developed to help move our economy forward.
The “first need” to alleviate the shortage of water supply to our growing population is to build reservoir systems that store more rainwater in the winter rainy season to be used for frost protection during the winter months and for irrigation during the dry summers. The sale of water would more than repay the cost of development of these reservoirs. The savings realized from building fish friendly reservoirs that replenish themselves with each winter’s rains AT NO COST should be evident to the Governor and the legislature. These reservoirs need to be built high in the mountains so there is gravity flow, thus cutting down on the cost of operation.
Back in the early 1960’s, I invested in a reliable water supply by building five reservoirs to solve our frost and irrigation problems for a 175-acre vineyard, and over the years, the savings (vs. buying the water) have computed to more than $1.5 million dollars.
Last winter, farmers along the Russian River were harangued by all applicable state agencies for pumping water for frost protection. If reservoirs (which refill with water every winter) were encouraged, instead of being hampered by the permitting process, the building of these reservoirs would alleviate much of the water shortage farmers experienced in 2009.
The Upcoming Bond Issue
In November of this year, California voters will be asked to vote on yet another water bond referendum. The $11.1 billion bill is comprehensive, and some say it is way too broad and full of pork projects. There are billions being thrown at the various components of the bill that not long ago only required millions. For example, there is $1.25 billion dollars allocated for water recycling and conservation. I believe if you ask the cities and the county water districts, the general population was able to conserve water during last year’s drought by approximately 15 percent. Conservation measures were so successful that most agencies are complaining about the loss of revenue and the need to raise water rates to cover those losses. These conservation measures were implemented the old fashioned way–with newspaper articles and direct mail pieces sent by the local agencies. None of this required billions of dollars. Where is the logic here?
We recognize that the legislature has been struggling for three decades with an attempt to come up with a solution to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta problem as well as replacement of infrastructure, etc. But I am of the opinion that the legislature and the Governor have thrown too much at the voting public by tying conservation, recycling, groundwater protection, drought relief, watershed protection, etc., etc. into one referendum.
There could not be a worse time for the State of California to go to the people to ask for passage of another water bond measure, especially one that doesn’t allocate predominate funds for the “first need,” which is water storage throughout California. A better way to move water storage to the forefront would be to create joint powers agreements between the federal, state, county and city governments to sell bonds to fund the needed projects.
The return on investment, when taking into account the sale of water, plus the increase in tax revenue from the agricultural products sold, would be in the billions of dollars.
by Barbara Shinn
on Mar 19, 2010
The past few days have been filled with bothersome “tweets” on twitter and postings on Facebook from winemakers and vineyard consultants who are questioning the benefits of organic and biodynamic winegrowing. Some are calling this mode of farming a fad and others are going so far as to post video of the two clowns Penn and Teller calling organic farming “bullshit.” The video is filled with testimonials from the Hudson Institute debunking the qualities of organic farming. Hudson Institute is a think tank funded by the huge chemical companies Monsanto, DuPont and others. These items are posted because the authors know that we, at Shinn Estate Vineyards, will probably see them.
Unfortunately, we run into a lot of this. It didn’t take more than a minute for my husband David to post back: I get messages from winemakers damning organic and biodynamic viticulture. They should spend time hawking the benefits of Monsanto pesticides.
This back and forth online is a telling moment for me. 2010 will be the first year of a three year commitment to farm our wine organically under the Stellar organic certifying agency and the Demeter biodynamic certifying agency. Here, on the east coast, it is generally agreed amongst viticulturists and researchers that organic winegrowing is impossible so there is a good amount of skepticism surrounding the way we farm our wine at Shinn. Nevertheless, we continue to experiment every growing season with organic control of insects, fungus and weeds. It has been a long road to travel having no local certified organic example to follow.
We began planting our vines in 2000 and by the 2004 harvest we had converted our vineyard floor to a blooming meadow where no herbicides were used. The meadow grows between the rows and under the trellis where we mow the weeds under the vines, gaining a thick mulch of green manure with every pass. In 2003 we began weaning the 3 year old vineyard off chemical fertilizers and feeding the vines with fish, seaweed and compost teas. Today, the soil is fed a diet of only organic inputs including several different kinds of composts and we continue with the seaweed and fish and other organic materials. In 2004 we began an integrated pest management program to address troublesome insects and now they are controlled by the beneficial insects harbored in our meadow along with organically approved controls like pheromone ties. By the 2009 growing season we successfully controlled powdery mildew, black rot, sour rot, phomopsis, and botrytis organically. The key to the 2010 season is to discard phosphite as a component in controlling downy mildew.
It may seem like a decade is a very long time to transition a vineyard from conventional to organic but as I began to change the way I had been taught to farm wine, it became apparent that I could not make changes by simply substituting organic materials for conventional ones. I had to somehow transform the entire farm into a more natural state. It wasn’t a matter of finding the one enormous golden key to unlock the secret of natural winegrowing, instead it was starting a collection of tiny keys each unlocking small doors and drawers that all worked in tandem with each other. Maintaining the harmony amongst the vines means that I have to be incredibly tuned in to the flow of what the vineyard needs throughout the 4 seasons and keeping a balance between the soil, the sun, the weather and the fruit. It means learning not only to see Mother Nature’s signals but also to use my other senses like listening to the noise being made by the insects which gives me an indication of their population, smelling the scents made by the soil which tells me how active it is and feeling the skin of the grapes for density letting me know the degree of disease resistance the fruit may have this year. This is the kind of farming that inspires me and makes a decade of transition seem like a mere moment in time.
by Adam Morganstern
on Dec 9, 2008
In the latest edition of Tom Stevenson’s book WINE REPORT 2009 published by DK Publishing, we have received a meaningful review. The WINE REPORT isn’t a typical rating publication like Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate or the Wine Spectator. It’s a book for savvy wine lovers. It’s a European standard. The trends in the wine world are discussed. When a winery is mentioned in the book it’s more than having a good wine, it’s noting an effort for excellence.
The section we were recognized in is the “Organic & Biodynamic Wines.” Monty Walden is the writer who reported on the trends in the Organic and Biodynamic wine world. Monte has been specializing for the last decades in this area. He makes the effort to visit wineries, not to just taste their latest releases but to try to understand what they are doing. When he recognizes a winery in this area he has thought about it.
We have been making wine for almost 30 years. We have been using properly grown organic and now biodynamic fruit because we believe that it’s better. We trust grapes grown that way. We use the natural yeast that are on the skins for the fermentations because nothing has been introduced into the vineyard that will inhibit or lessen them. We don’t manipulate the must with sulfur dioxide, genetically selected yeasts, yeast nutrients, stabilizers, water, acid additions or deacidification, we don’t add or take out anything from the grapes, must or wine. We do this because it makes better wines and is in keeping in the tradition and values of pure foods. Organic and biodynamic practices are not marketing tools but are for quality. Monty understands and also understands how hard it is to do this. When Monty chose us for this section it was done deliberately and carefully.
Looking over the names of the “Greatest Wine Producers” is a roster of some of the finest wine producers in the world, regardless of organic or biodynamic practices. The same holds for the “Greatest-Quality Wines”. This is a great honor and recognition of our efforts.
by Adam Morganstern
on Sep 2, 2008
For those of you who were concerned with our previous report about pesticide residues in conventional wines, here is the flip side from a biodynamic winery in France.
An analysis for better understanding our wine, our choices, our determination. It is important to be sincere and to display what defines our wine, derived from ancestral knowledge and our present determination to distribute a quality product. Alas, non-disclosure today is a virtue too well-developed! Sometimes involuntary, it is very often intentional, which does not go without risks. By dint of seeking to make consumers believe, without demonstration, that are products have no problems, we risk being confronted with spectacular and devastating turnarounds. The current nutritional crisis is a good example. It is in this spirit of sincerity that we have had created, by an independent laboratory, an analysis report of our wine, as to its pesticide residue content and other elements posing risks to human health.
We find from this analysis, concerning molecules classified in the category “active elements”, that none of the 53 “risk-posing” elements searched for were detected. As for cadmium, we are under the detection threshold. For lead we are at 0.043 mg/l, while the normal acceptable quantity is 0.1 to 0.4 mg/l.
For ochratoxin A, we are considerably under the threshold of detection. For sulfuric anhydride, we are well below 10 mg/kg, a threshold that authorizes us, according to the EC Directive of November 25, 2005, not to mention on our label “this wine contains sulfites”, which is rare.
These analyses remind us that organic or biodynamic wines do not push away the contributions of science, indeed the contrary. We wish for our wines to be recognized for what they are.
What sparks debate is not science and the relationship that we have with science, but the improper links that certain people have established between scientific facts and technical solutions, letting others believe that technical devices, refined for modifying reality, classifying it or equipping
it, are based on scientific realities They are partly, but they are especially related to economic interests and to commercial solutions that carry and develop them. In itself, this problem is not a grave one; what is problematic, it is the non-disclosure of the link between marketed technical solutions and scientific facts. Forgetting this link is destructive. It could also be in the long run for conventional wines.
Choosing sincerity is to make visible, in large part, our choices. It is also to make our product appreciated, not only for its taste qualities, but also for all of the precautions that it takes to preserve nature and the health of human beings.
Olympe et Yvon Minvielle
by Adam Morganstern
on Jun 16, 2008
I was president of the California Certified Organic Farmers for 7 years, the oldest and largest certifying body, and helped formulate the original USDA rules for organic. I wasn’t a proponent of the USDA taking over organic standards. As an organic farmer from the 70s, we never had a lot of cooperation from the government. Later, we had to go along with the consensus. And when we were making the wine rule, we had to look at it from the whole perspective, not just wine.
As president of the CCOF, I ran a survey to see who bought organic food. It was mostly women, who were well educated with a good income. They were happy to pay an additional 30%, but if they were paying it, it had better be organic. So if you were lenient on this rule then anyone who was making any food could say “I just want to add this one preservative.” After all, organic bread doesn’t last as long. But I would be outraged; as an organic consumer, not just as a farmer.
So the same standard had to be applied to wine. You can’t have anything synthetic and call it organic.
There was no “Made with Organic Grapes” exception in the original law. Sulfur dioxide was outlawed in any form. Then, a hush-hush agreement between California and Kentucky senators created this category. It was piggybacked onto a bill about senior prescriptions.
As it turns out, I think that’s a fair label, and I’m extremely pleased with both categories. I’m not an anti-sulfite person. I make wines without them because in my mission statement we just wanted to be 100% organic. I wish I could put “100% organic” on my label, but I can’t because I use a strain of yeasts from France, and they are not certified. In fact, there are no certified organic yeasts.
Some people are confused by the 95% rule with organic products. It only applies when you can’t find a certified organic source of a natural ingredient you need. For example, you want to make a granola bar with saffron, but no one is growing organic saffron. It does not mean you can use 5% synthetic ingredients. If you can source it, then you have to buy it. You also have to show documentation when you cannot source it.
Organic wine gets a bad wrap; some of the early organic wines weren’t that good. I say there isn’t a person out there who can say every conventional wine they’ve ever had is great. At one time the largest winery, Gallo, had the reputation of making the worst wine. 1 out of every 3 bottles sold was a cheap bottle of Gallo.
When I first tried to make wines without sulfites, I went to UC Davis and others for advice. 99% of the response was “why are you trying to buck the system, you dirty hippy?” The 1% that was sympathetic said they didn’t know how to help me. So I admit, my first wines weren’t perfect. I had to wait a whole year to learn. It wasn’t like beer, where I could make another batch in two weeks. So we stuck with it and learned.
Women used to say they got major headaches from wine. I said “try mine.” That’s what kept us afloat. Now things are different. I’m working with a lab and making something without a preservative. I’m proud of my wines. I did it myself without anyone helping me.
It’s a process of weeding out different mistakes. All my tanks are temperature controlled now. I just won two awards in international competitions. We’re getting there. We’re making a $13 bottle of wine that’s damn good and organic. I respect people who have the “Made with Organic Grapes” label; sometimes I feel we don’t get the respect back. The work we did to set it up and say there is such a thing as an organic wine.
Any wine with sulfites over 10 parts per million naturally still cannot be labeled organic. There was a reason they used 10 parts per million. Under that you don’t have to put a warning. If a warning label has to be put on, then it is not appropriate for organic production. We try to keep our wines at 0 parts per million. People forget the molecular structure of the added sulfite is different. It’s bonded. That’s what might cause people to have allergies.
We have these two laws; and unfortunately, unless the wine is an organic with a USDA label you cant legally call it an organic wine. So have respect for the rule and the terminology. I’ve heard every excuse in the book. “I’m organic. I only use herbicide.” You have players coming in with big money and they can lobby for different things. Fortunately, the organic consumer is like me. They are educated and watching out.
This letter from Phil LaRocca is a response to the letters posted in An Organic Debate – Part I.
by Adam Morganstern
on Jun 16, 2008
The use of sulfites in organic winemaking brings out very strong opinions on both sides of the issue, and the Organic Wine Journal now finds itself in the middle of this debate. We’d like to present the following letters for our readers to hear two different opinions on this subject.
Organic Vintners recently starting offering “Organic Wine Journal” selections to our readers; a chance to sample different collections at a discounted price. When we wrote about this, Paolo Bonetti, President of Organic Vinters, asked that we refer to these wines as “certified organic,” which we did.
This drew the following response from Phaedra LaRocca Morrill, of LaRocca Vineyards.
I would like to bring to your attention the difference between Made with Organic Grapes and “Certified Organic Wines” as mentioned in the section about Organic Vintners. According to the USDA National Organic Program Standards, to say that it is an ORGANIC WINE you cannot have added sulfites. And I am confident in the fact that 99% of all Organic Vintners wines are imports and domestic wines that have added sulfites. Hence, it is misinforming the public that their wines are indeed organic. It is best to use the terms “Made with Organic Grapes” or Organically farmed.
LaRocca Vineyards is truly an organic winery, from vine-to-bottle. We not only have the vineyard certified organic, but the winery is organic and we do not use sulfites. Hence, we are able and do use the USDA organic seal on the front label. There is only a handful of organic wineries and we are one of them.
It confuses people when they read articles and want a true organic wine, but then find out there are chemical additives like sulfites. Don’t want to be annoying, I just feel that for those that truly support, and are all organic, it is not accurate terminology.
Phaedra LaRocca Morrill
We forwarded that letter to Paolo Bonetti, and received this response:
This is a can of worms and I will do my best to give you my clear information and please remember this is my interpretation of the law, and my opinion on how the word “organic” is used. I agree and I disagree with the statements made by Phaedra. Here’s what I think, and I am always open to discussion.
Wine labels are controlled by the Tax and Trade Bureau and all wine labels for US sales must have an approved COLA (Certificate of Label Approval.) Any label making an organic claim must also show legitimate documentation of its organic legitimacy through a USDA accredited certifier. The TTB and USDA have an agreement that wine labels making organic claims can be processed by the TTB without going to the USDA as well. The size of the word organic is controlled and its size must be 50% of the height of the brand name. As Phaedra points out, if the wine has no added sulfites (AKA, sulfur dioxide, SO2), the organic claim can be “organic wine” and the green USDA Organic seal may be used. If the wine contains added sulfites and the final count of sulfites is less than 100 parts per million (ppm), organic claim may be labeled as “made with organic grapes” and the USDA seal may NOT be used.
KEY WORD ABOVE: ADDED–important to know is that some yeasts used in winemaking produce “naturally occurring” sulfites in the fermentation process and therefore some “organic wine” may have naturally occurring sulfites to the tune of 20ppm, so now that wine is 99.998% organic grapes and .002% sulfites.
Lets do some quick math by dividing 100 parts per million by 10 several times over: 100 ppm is equal to 10 parts per 100,000 which = 1 part per 10,000 = .1 parts per 1,000 = .01 parts per 100. Therefore, “wine made with organic grapes” cannot have more than .01% sulfites which means it is AT LEAST 99.99% organic grapes.
Wait! There’s more: ” . . . it would be hard to maintain the notion that wine is an ethereal elixir if, before uncorking, consumers read that their Pinot Noir or Syrah contained Mega Purple (a brand of concentrated wine color), oak chips or such additives as oak gall nuts, grape juice concentrate, tartaric acid, citric acid, dissolved oxygen, copper and water. The mention of bentonite, ammonium phosphate and the wide variety of active enzymes used to make some wines would end the romance. “–What’s Really in That Wine, Los Angeles Times, March 28, 2007, by Corie Brown, attached. So how much of that 99.99% or 99.998% is organic grapes?
Legally speaking, what one can say on a label, Phaedra is correct. And Phaedra is also correct that all our wines are sulfite-added wines. Most of our wine labels say “made with organic grapes” and some say “made with biodynamic grapes” which is also regulated with proper documentation.
What retailers choose to do is not under the jurisdiction of the USDA, and unfortunately many organic wine sections have intruders on us legitimate people: Lolonis Lady Bug Red (USA) and Conosur Pinot Noir (Chile) are this year’s biggest intruders. They make absurd but TTB-allowable claims like “no lady bugs were harmed” and “ecologically farmed grapes” which are not regulated by the TTB or the USDA. These products are the real culprits in the denigration of the word organic and whether they do it intentionally or not does not matter to me. Those wines are taking up my certified organic farmer’s and La Rocca’s shelf space! I am not accusing these winemakers of making any false representations, but somewhere along the supply chain between farmer and retailer (distributor, importer, retailer, broker, sales rep, and then some) these “sustainable” wines become organic.
When speaking or writing I call my wines “organic”, organic wines”, and “wines made with organic grapes” interchangeably but more commonly use the word certified in order to distinguish myself from the growing number of illegitimate green wines like the abovementioned. So I may say “certified organic”, “certified organic wines”, and “wines made with 100% certified organic grapes,” and its really up to you as a retailer to call them as you wish. My imports and La Rocca wines are virtually 100% organic. We both have the documentation that proves that the vines, the vinification process, and the whole facility are certified organic, from vine to bottle. If this were not the case we could not have the great privilege to use the word organic on our labels.
Now I will quote the USDA’s National Organic Program rules from http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_07/7cfr205_07.html.
Through my exhaustive reading of the entire National Organic Program regulations, I summarize the facts:
➢ Wine is singled out in a “product composition” statement requiring 100% organic ingredients as follows in CFR, Title 7, Subpart D, § 205.301 (f), (5) and (7):
➢ (f) All products labeled as “100 percent organic” or “organic” and all ingredients identified as “organic” in the ingredient statement of any product:
o (5) must not contain sulfites, nitrates, or nitrites added during the production or handling process, except, that, wine containing added sulfites may be labeled “made with organic grapes”;
o (7) must not include organic and nonorganic forms of the same ingredient.
Phaedra claims that there chemical additives like sulfites; true. Scientifically speaking, alcohol, Potassium L-Bitartrate (in the form of C4H5O6K), acids such as H2SO4, C2H4O2, C4H6O6, sodium chloride (AKA salt or NaCl), and Potassium Sulfate K2SO4 are just a few of the many chemicals found in a basic chemical analysis of most wines. These are naturally occurring as is SO2.
My one point of disagreement and I defend all certified organic wine producers world-wide: I strongly disagree with Phaedra’s claim that “There is only a handful of organic wineries and we are one of them.” All my growers and hundreds of others practice certified organic farming and crush in a certified organic facility, from vine to bottle and there is simply no way to dispute this reality.
Conclusion. There is an ingredient difference of 80ppm which sets the two categories apart according to government regs and this does not make any farmer more or less organic as long as they are legitimately certified, like La Rocca and all our farmers. Retailers such as Whole Foods have wine sections they call “eco-farmed,” “eco-friendly,” “sustainable,” and few use the word organic. The Organic Wine Journal does not make wine labels and I think it is up to you to make a decision about what words you use.
In any case I support the Organic Wine Journal’s efforts which have so far been true and accurate. And I support all certified organic farmers who also use permissible USDA NOP ‘chemicals’ such as SO2 and bentonite clay (this is what makes our wines vegan.)
PS-Sulfites have been used in winemaking since 1400′s and NSA wines are predominantly a US phenomenon.
The debate doesn’t end here. Read Part II; where Phil LaRocca weighs in on the subject.
by Adam Morganstern
on May 20, 2008
Sustainability isn’t difficult to understand. It’s even easier to embrace. All of us are players in this production and consumption of goods that make for our nutritional makeup. The concept of preservation, self-preservation for that matter, is what the cycle of renewal and reuse is all about. It’s really about connecting the “what” with the “how.” It’s about personal accountability for the decisions that we make. Sustainability is what organic farming promotes as a way of life. It’s about recognizing and rewarding those that play a role in the unbroken cycle from crop to cup.
Take Specialty grade Arabica beans for instance: this higher altitude, perfectly ripened coffee cherry delivers a complexity and thumbprint only available from the smaller farmer. At altitudes of 3500 feet and higher, the Arabica variety undergoes a slower maturation process which lends itself to more fully developed, seasonally rich flavor profiles. Unlike the Robusta variety, which thrive at lower altitudes and comprise the majority of lesser commercial grade beans, the Arabica farms know that lesser primary defects means more dollars from the quality driven importer. Since high volume production isn’t part of the equation for the smaller estate grower, a more “hands on” approach becomes operative. Chemicals and pesticides are not cheap, so the “steroid” approach to farming appeals only to those interested in quantity over quality. Now that organic farming is being recognized and rewarded at the coffee source, the incentive for smaller growers to continue measures in sustainability is helping to stabilize the specialty grade coffee market. And we get to enjoy their hard work.
The difficulty we’ve witnessed as a micro-roaster is one of designation and promotion. It’s the old supply-demand argument that business school hammers into the psyche of its pupils. If the marketplace doesn’t ask questions about the “how” and “effect” behind the products we buy, then the tendency for big companies is to lean towards low-cost, low maintenance systems of delivery. For years there has existed an unrecognized stable of growers that employed organic farming practices. The problem for most continues to be one of economic balance between grower and buyer. In the last two years, we have witnessed a renaissance in consumer awareness that is driving the organic and fair trade efforts at an unprecedented pace. Farmers are being heralded for their efforts and rewarded monetarily. The bigger retailers are taking notice of YOU, and what you are asking for in the cup.
Fourteen years ago, I began our business in my kitchen with a small batch roaster and one bag of organic Costa Rican green bean. Beautiful, consistent green bean, roasted perfectly without bitterness, was the goal then and now. From that one bag dream, Ryan Bros. now micro-roasts in excess of 300,000 pounds, representing the world’s finest small estate and organic offerings.
Ryan Bros. Coffee is located in San Diego, California (www.ryanbroscoffee.com). Harry Ryan is the Roast Master with brothers Tom and Carmine. Parents Tom and Helena also participate daily. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Adam Morganstern
on May 12, 2008
Maureen Lolonis spoke with students at the Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park campus on May 1st, discussing Lolonis vineyards and winery and tasting eight of their signature wines. The 2006 Chardonnay was my favorite. Maureen is an avid storyteller, and was quick to tell the history behind her family’s winery.
In 1914, Tryfon Lolonis, an immigrant from Velherna, Greece, saw California’s Redwood Valley for the first time. He was immediately entranced by the stunning beauty and its striking similarities to his home in the Mediterranean. Tryfon did not hesitate to purchase a plot of land to build a home for his wife and future family. For the next ten years, Lolonis and his wife, Eugenia, slaved over the land, rearing the grapevines that they had planted in hopes of producing a great-quality wine. Their hard labor was rewarded with their first vintage in the 1920s.
Three decades later, their son Nick Lolonis, having completed studies of viticulture and enology at the University of California, Davis, convinced his father to consider organic farming, relinquishing the use of artificial chemicals. A massive amount of ladybugs were unleashed throughout the vineyard, in an effort to keep pests at bay. This became a Lolonis tradition and the future symbol for the winery.
The original vines planted by Tryfon Lolonis were safeguarded, and the vineyards passed down to each generation of the family, ending with the current owner, Petros Lolonis, grandson of Tryfon and Eugenia. It was in the 1980s that Petros, along with his brother, Ulysses, decided to establish the Lolonis Winery to label their product with the family name, finally pushing their wines into the limelight and earning them great recognition; since October of 2000, seven Lolonis wines have so far been awarded 90 points or higher by the Wine Spectator.
Despite the fact that none of the Lolonis labels state they are “organic,” the vineyards were the first in the state of California to be certified organically grown. As many people lean towards a healthier lifestyle, the term “organic” is in danger of being misused by marketers with suspect motives and methods. “Organic” should have a specific meaning and should not be thrown about loosely or taken advantage of the way that it has been over the past decade. Thankfully, there are producers like Lolonis that strive to provide high-quality organic products.
Mary Borden is a student at the Culinary Institute of America.