Organic Wine Labeling Continues to Confuse

Drew Stoffle gives his take on the debate on new U.S. standards for organic wine.

On April Fool’s Day of this year, a wish for the loosening of organic wine labeling laws was cast to the gods by a group of farmers seeking higher truths and greater purity for all kinfolk. To wit, organic farmer Paul Dolan of California’s Mendocino County, along with Denver vintner Paolo Bonetti, owner of Organic Vintners — a brand dedicated to spreading the magic of organic wine throughout the land — have slung their arrows at the TTB, the federal agency lording over what words dress our favorite wine labels.

Dolan and Bonetti happen to fall into a clan who produce wines that, as their labels state, are “made with organic grapes.” These farmers have toiled in the soil, avoiding the chemical pesticides and herbicides that lure men astray. They foster a love and stewardship for the land that is passed on to the customer in a product laced only with quality and purity. But they are bound to such labeling half-truths as though the TTB knew they were up to something else.

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