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Organic viticulture

organic wine production (GB)

Earth globe wrapped with plants - symbol of organic viticulture Under biological, ecological or organic-organic viticulture is sometimes understood quite different forms of production for the production of grapes and Wine on the basis of measures which are as environmentally friendly as possible, taking into account findings relating to ecology and environmental protection. Confusingly, there are many similar terms such as biological, organic, controlled organic, controlled organic, organic land / viticulture, organic land / viticulture, organic-organic, biodynamic and bioenergetic.


An often asked question is whether there is a content or legal difference between "organic" and eco ". The answer is no, the terms are used synonymously. Both are protected in the context of food and feed and agricultural commodities, which are produced and processed in accordance with the principles of organic farming. All derivatives and diminutive forms such as "bio" and "eco", alone or in combination, can occur here.

Caution is required when labeling "controlled contract cultivation", "extensive", "integrated farming", "controlled", "natural", "environmentally friendly" or "untreated" or analogously used formulations Processing in the sense of organic farming For clarification or distinction, a short definition of the terms:

Biological : The biology (bios = life) is the science of living beings as a branch of science, which deals with general laws, peculiarities, organization and development as well as structures and processes of living things.

ecologically : The ecology (oikos = house, doctrine of 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: Biologically means that no chemical mace was used, and ecologically means that in addition the environment was spared / promoted.

organic : an organ or organism belonging to the living nature; with something forming a (harmonic) unity. It is meant to express that management takes account of this sensitive link.

biodynamic : This term first appeared in 1980 in the Duden. He is mainly in the Biodynamic viticulture used and means "using only organic fertilizers, treated only with such means (natural means) or fertilized". There are also not undisputed techniques such as consideration of the moon phases or planetary constellations.

bioenergetic : bioenergetics (bios = life, energeia = efficacy) as a branch of biology, biophysics and biochemistry dealing with energy transformations in organisms. The term is in the Bioenergetic viticulture used. There are also not uncontroversial techniques such. B. Music in winemaking,

integrated : this means, in connection with a certain procedure, the integration of individual measures, for example Integrated pest management (KIP / IP). It is therefore a package of measures coordinated with regard to a specific purpose.

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

In addition, there are also the inflationary terms sometimes used in brochures "environmentally friendly", "environmentally conscious", "near-natural" or "sustainable viticulture". They represent a procedure according to specific but often not clearly and clearly defined ecological or biological aspects and are sometimes also used as a synonym for Integrated Plant Protection. However, not so much the names are important, but rather the individual guidelines and measures in detail, which are summarized below. Because if a winery on the website declares itself as "environmentally conscious, near-natural operation", that alone does not say which measures are to be understood.

Organic certification and control

The clearest certification is as an organic operation by a licensed institution, because it is clear and clear to understand which guidelines are valid. For such enterprises, this means above all the management of the vineyard, but also the cellar technology and, in some cases, upstream and downstream production processes. Related to this is the term sustainability emerged. This is understood as a process or way of life which claims the natural foundations of life only to the extent that they can regenerate themselves without exploiting nature. An essential element as an absolute prerequisite for a stable ecosystem is the preservation of biodiversity, which has become popular with the term biodiversity referred to as. This is done through appropriate measures in the plant protection against diseases and pests and at the fertilization Taken into account.

An important criterion is restricted use until renouncement of chemical-synthetic pesticides ( pesticides ) and instead the use of Plant- or only certain authorized funds. In pest control, environmentally friendly processes such as disrupter With pheromones or beneficials used. For the soil care will be no herbicides and synthetically made instead nitrogen fertilizer, slightly soluble phosphorus fertilizer and approved mineral fertilizers used. In the case of organic production forms, all synthetically produced plant protection products are generally prohibited. The green manure or greening is a fixed and essential part of soil care.

Very often the measures are with particularly low, quality-increasing earnings connected (but only the normal wine laws apply and there are no stricter maximum yields). Also on certain cellar technical measures or medium is often omitted. The fermentation is by many producers as possible by vineyard's own, natural yeasts in the form of a so-called spontaneous fermentation performed, but this is also not an unconditional requirement. The use of sulfur dioxide is kept as low as possible. In addition, so-called PIWI varieties (fungi-resistant) preferred, because thereby the use polluting fungicides is at least limited.

However, there are no general guidelines in all countries or the relevant organic associations, as there is still a lot of experimentation. It is not necessarily wines expected. But the fact that a wine produced under such conditions can be top quality is proven by the famous wineries Château de Beaucastel and Château Rayas (Rhône) and Château La Roche-aux-Moines (Loire) with 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 also in other EU countries there are numerous organic farms with excellent wines.

However, a biologically-oriented viticulture of a producer with even strict, self-imposed guidelines does not necessarily mean one Biowein (Organic wine). Of course, just as rustic as a winemaking as the Orange wine not (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 is an extended since 2012 EU Organic Regulation, It contains guidelines not only for vineyard management, but also for cellaring measures as well as limit values of certain substances for wines of 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 Farming Regulation. The guidelines contained therein form the basis for certification with annual controls as "organic operation". This is done by state approved bio or. Inspection bodies which also check compliance, but also make random checks. Only such certified companies are allowed Organic wines Produce (Ökoweine), or this with the Biosiegel the EU and, where appropriate, additionally with a seal of association as such. A membership in one of the many organic associations such. B. DEMETER but is not mandatory. There are countless organic associations worldwide and many more organic labels. In Austria, for example, currently more than 100 different organic quality labels are in use. Some of these labels are issued by state agencies, some by consortiums and organic associations, others are special private labels of large supermarket chains such as "AMA" (Agramarkt Austria) or "YES! NATURAL "(REWE Group). The basic requirement is compliance with the minimum standards of EU Organic Regulation in order to be allowed 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 farm is a member. These organic dressings (see a list below) have consistently extended, 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 a certificate of association. Again, there are regular checks and, if the result is positive, a confirmation of the certification. As a rule, however, the state organic / eco inspection bodies also take over the controls according to the guidelines of the organic associations. Organic certification is not possible without EU organic certification.

Biological / ecological production forms

There are various biological-ecological forms of production, which are very similar in principle but differ in detail in terms of philosophy and individual guidelines / measures. In some sources Biodynamic Viticulture and Bioenergetic Viticulture are also considered as one system:

Plant protection forms

All these forms of production include inter alia phytosanitary measures of a very similar nature, some of which have different characteristics, but the same objective with regard to the greatest possible protection of the environment (the four keywords on phytosanitary contain detailed information in this constructive order):

Organic associations and institutions

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

  • AGÖL - Arb. Gem. Organic Farming Germany - predecessor of BÖLW
  • Austria Organic Warranty - largest Austrian Bio-Control
  • BCS eco-guarantee - International Organic Certification Organization
  • Bio Austria - umbrella organization of the Austrian organic associations
  • BIODYVIN - biodynamic vintners' association
  • Bioland - Organic cultivation association Germany and South Tyrol
  • BÖLW - umbrella organization of the German organic associations
  • DEMETER - Trademark for biodynamic products
  • DINE (FairChoice®) - Seal of Sustainable Viticulture
  • ECOCERT - International Organic Certification Organization
  • ECOVIN - German and world's largest viticulture eco-association
  • Fair'n Green - Seal for sustainable viticulture
  • HACCP - Instrument 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 of the Appellations - from Nicolas Joly founded Biowinzervereinigung
  • Sustainable Austria - Quality seal for sustainably produced wine
  • Naturland - International Association for Organic Farming
  • respectful-BIODYN - biodynamic vintners' association
  • SGS - International Organic Certification Organization
  • VDP - Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter - Bioland concept
  • Vitiswiss - umbrella organization for ecologically oriented KIP / IP Switzerland

Additional information

Further information in detail about the complex topic can be found under the following keywords, which have already been mentioned several times above:

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