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Organic viticulture

organic wine production (GB)

Globe covered with plants - symbol for organic viticulture Organic, ecological or even biological-ecological viticulture is understood to mean quite different forms of production for the production of grapes and Wine on the basis of measures that are as environmentally friendly as possible, taking into account knowledge regarding ecology and environmental protection. Confusingly, there are many similar terms such as organic, ecological, controlled ecological, controlled organic, organic farming / viticulture, organic farming / viticulture, organic-organic, biodynamic and bio-energetic.


A frequently asked question is whether there is a content or legal difference between "organic" and eco. The answer is no, the terms are used interchangeably. Both are protected in connection with food and feed as well as agricultural raw materials that are produced and processed according to the guidelines of organic farming. All derivations and forms of reduction such as "bio" and "eco", alone or in combination, can occur.

Caution is advised with the labels "from controlled contract cultivation", "extensive", "integrated agriculture", "controlled", "close to nature", "environmentally friendly" or "untreated" or appropriately used formulations. These terms do not refer to a production or Processing in the sense of organic farming. To clarify or differentiate a short definition of the terms:

biological : Biology (bios = life) is the science of living beings as a sub-area of the natural sciences, which deals with general laws, peculiarities, organization and development as well as structures and processes of living beings.

ecological : the ecology (oikos = house, teaching from the household) is a sub-discipline of biology, which explores the relationships of living beings with their inanimate environment. The term has become synonym developed for "environment" or "environmental protection". A casual comparison is: Organic means that no chemical club was used, and ecological means that the environment was also spared / promoted.

organic : Regarding an organ or organism belonging to the living nature; forming a (harmonious) unit with something. It is intended to express that management takes this sensitive context into account.

biodynamic : This term first appeared in 1980 in Duden. It is mainly used in Biodynamic viticulture uses and means "only use organic fertilizers, only treated or fertilized with such agents (natural products)". There are also some controversial techniques such as taking into account moon phases or planetary constellations.

bioenergetic : bioenergetics (bios = life, energeia = effectiveness) as a branch of biology, biophysics and biochemistry that deals with energy conversions in organisms. The term is used in Bioenergetic viticulture used. There are also some controversial techniques such as B. Music making wine,

integrated : In connection with a certain procedure, this means the integration of individual measures, for example Integrated crop protection (KIP / IP). It is therefore a package of measures tailored to a specific purpose.

Controlled : Compliance with the guidelines is regularly checked by competent state-licensed and / or private institutions or associations.

In addition, there are also the terms "environmentally friendly", "more environmentally conscious", "more natural" or "sustainable viticulture", which are sometimes used in inflationary terms in brochures. They mean a procedure based on certain but often not clearly and clearly defined ecological or biological aspects and are sometimes also used as a synonym for integrated plant protection. However, it is not so much the names that are important, but rather the individual guidelines and measures that are summarized below. Because if a winery declares itself on the website as "environmentally conscious, nature-oriented operation", that alone does not say what measures are to be understood.

Organic certification and control

Certification as an organic farm by a licensed institution is the clearest because it clearly and unambiguously understand which guidelines are valid. In such companies, this primarily defines vineyard management, but also cellar technology and, in some cases, upstream and downstream production processes. In connection with this is the term sustainability emerged. This is understood as a process or way of life that only claims the natural foundations of life to the extent that they can regenerate themselves without overexploiting nature. An essential component as an unconditional prerequisite for a stable ecosystem is the conservation of biodiversity, with the term that has become popular biodiversity referred to as. Appropriate measures in the plant protection against diseases and pests and in the fertilization Taken into account.

An important criterion is restricted use until no chemical-synthetic pesticides are used ( pesticides ) and the use of Plant- or only certain approved agents. Pest control uses environmentally friendly methods such as disrupter With pheromones or beneficials used. For the floor care none herbicides and instead synthetically made nitrogen fertilizer, easily soluble phosphorus fertilizer and approved mineral fertilizers are used. In the organic production forms, all synthetically produced pesticides are strictly prohibited. Green manure or greening is a fixed and essential part of floor care.

The measures with very low, quality-increasing are very common earnings connected (but only the normal wine law requirements apply and there are no stricter maximum yields). Certain cellar measures or medium is often waived. The fermentation is made by many producers, if possible through natural vineyards yeasts in the form of a so-called spontaneous fermentation carried out, which is also not an unconditional requirement. The use of sulfur dioxide is kept as low as possible. In addition, so-called PIWI varieties (fungus-resistant) preferred, because this makes the use environmentally harmful fungicides is at least restricted.

However, there are no guidelines that are generally applicable in all countries or in the responsible organic associations, as there is still a lot of experimentation. It is not inevitable either wines expected. The famous wineries prove that a wine produced under such conditions can be top quality Château de Beaucastel and Chateau Rayas (Rhône) and Château La Roche-aux-Moines (Loire) with the cult white wine Coulée-de-Serrant, In the US state California count the two wineries Fetzer and Mondavi to the pioneers. But also in Germany. Greece. Croatia. Austria. South-Tirol (Italy), Portugal. Spain, the Switzerland and there are also numerous organic farms with excellent wines in other EU countries.

A bio-ecologically oriented winegrowing of a producer with however strict, self-imposed guidelines does not necessarily mean one Biowein (Organic wine). Of course, a rustic winemaking is just as good as with Orange Wine not from (for which there is also no wine law definition). Prerequisites for the declaration as organic wine are the certification as an organic company, as well as observance of the production rules. After years of negotiations, there has been an expanded one since 2012 EU Organic Regulation, Compared to earlier guidelines, it contains not only guidelines for vineyard management, but also for cellar measures and limit values for certain substances for wines with this protected name.

Organic viticulture - hands with grape and organic seal

The production, processing, control and import of organic products are regulated by the EU organic regulation. The guidelines contained therein are the basis for certification with annual controls as an "organic farm". This is done by state-approved bio respectively. Inspection bodies who also check compliance as announced, but also carry out random checks without notice. Only such certified companies may Organic wines (Organic wines) or produce them with the Biosiegel the EU as well as, if necessary, additionally with an association seal as such. Membership in one of the many organic associations such as B. DEMETER but is not mandatory. There are countless organic associations around the world and many more organic labels. In Austria, for example, more than 100 different organic labels are currently in use. Some of these labels are issued by government agencies, some by working groups and organic associations, others are special own brands of large supermarket chains such as "AMA" (Agramarkt Austria) or "YES! NATURAL ”(REWE Group). The basic requirement is compliance with the minimum standards of the EU Organic Regulation in order to be able to label the produced or marketed products as "organic".

Organic wines are identified by the EU organic label and / or by the name of the organic association of which the company may be a member. These organic associations (see a list below) have consistently expanded, sometimes even stricter requirements. In addition to the EU organic guidelines, the companies or wines must meet the standards of these associations in order to obtain an association certificate. Here too there are regular checks and, if the result is positive, confirmation of the certification. As a rule, however, the state organic / organic control bodies also carry out the controls according to the guidelines of the organic associations. However, organic association certification is not possible without EU organic certification.

Biological / ecological forms of production

There are various forms of biological and ecological production which are very similar in principle, but differ in detail with regard to philosophy and individual guidelines / measures. Biodynamic viticulture and bioenergetic viticulture are also considered as a system in some sources:

Plant protection forms

All of these forms of production include, among other things, plant protection measures of a very similar nature, some of which are different, but with the same objective in terms of protecting the environment as much as possible (the four key words about plant protection contain detailed information in this order):

Organic associations and institutions

There are many associations and institutions worldwide with biologically / ecologically oriented guidelines with similar objectives, but in some cases different methods:

  • AGÖL - Work according to organic farming Germany - predecessor of BÖLW
  • Austria organic guarantee - largest Austrian Bio-Control
  • BCS eco guarantee - international organic certification organization
  • Bio Austria - Umbrella organization of the Austrian organic associations
  • BIODYVIN - Biodynamic winegrowers' association
  • Bioland - Organic farming association Germany and South Tyrol
  • BÖLW - Umbrella organization of the German organic associations
  • DEMETER - Trademark for biodynamically produced products
  • DINE (FairChoice®) - seal for sustainable viticulture
  • ECOCERT - international organic certification organization
  • ECOVIN - German and also the world's largest viticulture ecological association
  • Fair'n Green - Seal for sustainable viticulture
  • HACCP - Instruments for quality assurance or quality control
  • ICEA - international organic certification organization
  • IFOAM - International umbrella organization with 750 associations in over 100 countries
  • IFS - International regulations for certification of production systems
  • Controlled environmentally friendly viticulture - Rhineland-Palatinate Germany
  • La Renaissance des Appellations - by Nicolas Joly founded organic wine association
  • Sustainable Austria - Seal of quality for sustainably produced wine
  • Naturland - International Association for Organic Agriculture
  • respectful-BIODYN - Biodynamic winegrowers' association
  • SGS - international organic certification organization
  • VDP - Association of German quality wine estates - Bioland concept
  • Vitiswiss - Umbrella organization for ecologically oriented KIP / IP Switzerland

Additional information

Further information in detail on the complex subject area is available under the following keywords, which have already been mentioned several times above:

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