DEFINITIONS

Organic Agriculture

The United States sets Federal Standards for labeling food products with the Organic in name.  All agricultural products must meet strict standards that are verified by a third party.  Wine is also governed by these laws and in order to be called Organic Wine or Made with Organic Wine the wine also must be made in a certified Organic Facility and follow the set guidelines for making the wine.  The NOP or National Organics Program governs these processes and approve all addtitives to the wine.

Biodynamic Agricuture and Wine Making

Biodynamic is a registered named managed by Demeter Organization which verfies all Biodynamic farms, vineyards and wineries.  Be sure your Biodynamic wine has Demeter seal.

Natural Wines

Makers of *natural wines strive to create them with “nothing added and nothing taken away.”  They work to make wine with as little human intervention as possible, letting nature take its course. Natural wines are unregulated and do not require any certification to be labeled “natural.”

Sustainable Wines

**Sustainable-method wineries will often use solar power, have water reclamation systems and recycling programs so that they will have as little negative impact on the land as possible.  Sustainability is a practice but is not regulated or certified as organic practices and ingredients can be.

Processing Aids

All wines are ***processed in some form or another.  Even natural wines that claim to do nothing may use some sulfites or enzymes.  The key is wine is not labeled and you do not know the ingredients.  Conventional wines can contain 100-plus chemicals to enhance and manipulate the wine while made with organic grapes and organically-certified wine can only use approved organic additives approved by the NOP and their third party certifier, which in California is CCOF and in New York is NOFA-NY.

NOP

USDA’s National Organic Program regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop harvesting, or handling operation that wants to sell an agricultural product as organically produced.

GMO

GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. They are experimental combinations of genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not allowed in organic or biodynamic wine production. But in conventional winemaking GMOs can play a role. A GMO strain of yeast used in winemaking has government approval and is on the market. GMO wine grapes have been made in labs but are not yet on the market.


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