Your Guide to Organic, Biodynamic and Natural Wine

A brain-damaged Marlborough man has won his battle for compensation for harm caused by wine industry herbicides.

Read the full story.

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Our good friend Deborah Gavito, of Counter Restaurant, has been touring vineyards and interviewing winemakers. We’ll be featuring her series of videos here, starting with Mike Benziger explaining his insect highway. We’re looking forward to a lot of great content from Deborah, so be sure to keep checking in to see her latest work.

Counter Restaurant is an “organic wine and martini bar, vegetarian bistro” in New York. Visit them online at

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I once had a conversation with winemaker Tony Coturri where he told me that the “organic” label should also cover whether or not your laborers are treated fairly. The story of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez puts some understanding behind that theory. She was 17 years old and worked all day in 100 degree heat without access to proper shade and water. The company she worked for has been accused of dragging their feet to get her medical attention after she collapsed. Maria went into a coma and died two days later.

Her story has sparked outrage, and even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger attended her funeral. Read the full details at the San Francisco Chronicle and NPR.

Many thanks to Winefarmer’s Weblog for bringing our attention to this story.

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Far Niente Winery Goes Solar

Far Niente winery in Napa Valley is now providing for 100% of its energy needs through solar power. To avoid taking up valuable vineyard land, the photovoltaic panels are floating on their irrigation pond.

Many wineries are already using solar power, including organic winemakers Grgich Hills and Frog’s Leap.

Read the full story in The San Francisco Chronicle.

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New OWJ White Wine Selections

Just in time for summer, the Organic Wine Journal and Organic Vintners are now offering a certified organic white wine selection for sale online. Build your white collection before the summer heat hits with these bottles from around the globe, offered at an exclusive Organic Wine Journal discount:

  • Spain: Can Vendrell Cava Brut Reserva
  • Italy: Mont’ Albano Pinot Grigio
  • Germany: Sander Riesling Troken
  • France: Chateau Le Rait Bordeaux Sec
  • USA: Organic Vintners Chardonnay
  • New Zealand: Holmes Sauvignon Blanc

Click here to purchase this selection online at Organic Vintners.

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Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Ban

On his blog, The Wine Importer, Joe Dressner reports on winemaker Jen-Paul Brun who is being denied AOC status for his wine because Beaujolais wants to “enforce a uniform and medicore style with no tolerance for originality and authenticity.”

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Anne-Claude Leflaive, director of Domaine Leflaive in Burgundy, France, in collaboration with six other highly respected Burgundy vintners, has founded Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs in Puligny-Montrachet. With the goal of broadening wine professionals’ knowledge and understanding, Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs is an educational program that focuses of vine growing and winemaking using an ecological, environmental and humanistic approach.

The first school of its kind, Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs has been in the works since 2005 when the initial plans were formed. The origins of its inspiration, however, were much earlier. In 1991 Domaine Leflaive began experimenting with biodynamic farming, which initiated inquiries about its effectiveness and benefits. Rather than respond to every individual inquiry Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs provides a forum for biodynamic advocates to share their experiences with a broader audience.

Beginning in May, 2008 Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs will offer seminars ranging in duration from three hours to two days covering such broad subjects as wine making techniques, biodynamic farming methods, wine tasting, and botany. Each seminar is led by an expert in their field, including such luminaries as microbiologists Claude and Lydia Bourguignon, oenological revolutionary Bruno Quenioux, and terroir specialist Bruno Weiller.

Classes will be held throughout the year. The 2008 schedule currently includes seminars May through August. The seminars are divided into in French and English offerings. The seminars are limited to only 12 people, providing an intimate and personal experience, and take place predominantly in the vineyard.

Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs is a non-profit organization formed under the guidance of Anne-Claude Leflaive in collaboration with Michel Boss, Vinium; Pierre-Henri Gagey, Louis Jadot; Dominique Lafon, Domaine des Comtes Lafon; Jean-Marc Roulot, Domaine Roulot; Aubert de Villaine, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti; and Antoine Lepetit, Domaine Leflaive.

For more information or to attend Ecole du Vin et des Terroirs please visit

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New OWJ Wine Selections

The Organic Wine Journal and Organic Vintners have joined forces to offer certified organic wine packages for sale online. These OWJ Selections are a perfect way to start your organic and biodynamic wine collection, with handpicked vintages from around the world.

We’re starting things off with our Red Selection; six certified organic wines from France, Italy, Spain, California, Chile and New Zealand.

  • France: Domaine du Jas d’Esclans Rose
  • Italy: Antica Enotria Sangiovese
  • Spain: Can Vendrell Barrica Tinto
  • California: Organic Vintners Merlot
  • Chile: Nuevo Mundo Cabernet/Carmenere
  • New Zealand: Holmes Pinot Noir

According to Paolo Bonetti, President of Organic Vintners, “this is a great way for people to dive in and experience great wines from a wide variety of places.” Jonathan Russo, publisher of the Organic Wine Journal echoed that sentiment. “These wines are affordable, taste fantastic and are good for you and the environment. What more could you want?”

Look for more OWJ Selections coming soon.

Click here to see the Red Selection at

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