EatinEatOut : Spring 2013
WWW.EATINEATOUT.CA 103 your cellar. There are only a few countries, namely the USA and Australia, which have certifications in place for "organic wine". The rest of the world that uses the term "organic" on their labels are strictly referring to the practices in the vineyard rather than the entire process from vineyard to bottle. Organic viticultural practices originated in France long before the term "organic" became the buzzword of 21st century agriculture. Today, the majority of the world's organic vineyards are located in France, in particular the south of France, but organic vineyard practices are also prevalent in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Greece. Typically drier and warmer climates, as well as vineyards located in high altitude regions, are the best sites for organic farming to exist, which is why many of the vineyards in Chile and Argentina have been using organic practices regardless of the marketing benefits that may be attached to the term "organic" on the label. For this reason, many of your favourite wines may in fact already be organic even though they do not have proper certification. For many family-run estates in both the New World and Old World, organic certification is too expensive and it is not worth the time or money to get properly certified. Fortunately for the internet-savvy wine lover, most wineries have a website with detailed information about their vineyards and viticultural practices; so with a little effort, you can find out what practices your favourite wineries are using in their vineyards and make an informed choice about what wine you want to buy.