Organic Farming is a method which allows nature to protect and grow
the produce with out introducing foreign substances.It largely excludes
the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators,
and livestock feed additives. As far as possible, organic farmers rely
on crop rotation crop residues, animal manures and mechanical cultivation
to maintain soil productivity, to supply plant nutrients
and to control weeds, insects and other pests.
farmers believe there is an essential link between the health of the
soil, the health of plants, the health of animals and ultimately, the
health of human populations. Thus the restoration, maintenance and
enhancement of soil life is the cornerstone of the organic method.
Biodynamic farming is based on the precise observation and an attempt at balance of nature, a concept originated by the early 20th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. So, biodynamic wine is not only 100% organic, in addition, the grower has gone beyond to try to bring the farming process more closely in tune with nature. For instance, biodynamic wine growers may make their own compost and/or watch the stars and planets to time what they do.
The goal of biodynamic winemaking is to view the vineyard as a complete living system. It's about the soil, insects and other vegetation and animals that inhabit space in the vineyard - all working in harmony to bring you some incredible-tasting wine. For more visit Summerhill Pyramid Estate Winery
Organic Farms Care for the Environment
Environmental protection is the primary reason most organic farmers
become involved in organic agriculture. Concern for the environment
is portrayed in many aspects of organic farming:
• Care in the handling of all animal wastes
• Protection of stream banks and watersheds
• Protection and fostering of wildlife including wild bird populations
• Avoiding the use of agricultural toxins - pesticides, herbicides, fungicides,
• Researching new ways to recycle agricultural nutrients - closed-loop systems
Organic wine is wine that has been produced from organically grown
grapes, but no legal international definition exists. Organic wines
are not necessarily sulfite free but they have no added sulfites.
There is now no officially recognized designation for wines 'made with organic grapes' in Canada. There is only 'organic wine', and it has to be made with organic grapes and have a total of 95% organic ingredients, with up to 100 ppm of total SO2 is allowed. Also no caustic soda or other synthetic chemicals are allowed for cleaning tanks and equipment. As far as I know the only certified organic wineries in BC are Summerhill and Rollingdale.
There are a number of different ways you will see bottles labeled
indicating they are organic. Here's how to interpret some of the terms
on wine labels:
"100% Organic" means that the wines are produced with grapes that are certified 100 per cent organically grown and do not have any sulfur dioxide added.
"Organic" means that the wines are produced with a minimum of 95 per cent organic ingredients. These wines may have a very low level of sulfur dioxide added to them.
"Made with organic grapes" refers to wines
that have a minimum of 70 per cent organic grapes. These wines may
have sulfur dioxide added. This is not an official creditation
Biodynamic farming techniques utilize the vineyard's natural resources to cultivate the highest-quality grapes possible without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or growth stimulants.
A vineyard that is certified biodynamic meets and typically exceeds the standards and regulations for organic certified farming.
Requirements for Organic Wine:
100 % of the grapes used in BC Certified Organic Wine have to be
British Columbia Certified Organic or certified to be organic of
equal to British Columbia Certified Organic standing by a recognized
Grapes should be harvested into clean, non-contaminated containers
made from wood, food-grade plastics, or enameled metal. Polyethylene
liners are tolerated. Only healthy grapes of good quality should
be selected for harvest and processed as soon as possible. Processing
equipment, vessels, tanks and barrels have to be kept clean; cross-contamination
with non-organic grapes, must or juice or prohibited substances must
The use of active yeast cultures or yeast naturally present in the must
is allowed. The addition of selected yeast and organic yeast nutrients is allowed.
Inorganic yeast nutrients are not allowed
Sulphur Additions:The COABC encourages winemakers to produce wines
without the use of sulphur dioxide (SO2). Because sulphate free wines
are often perceived to be of lesser stability and present a greater
risk of spoilage, the COABC tolerates the use of SO2 under the following
a) Levels of total SO2 in wines to be released are not
to exceed 100 parts per million and levels of free SO2 shall be no
more than 30 parts per million. The COABC may reduce these levels
in future, if acceptable alternatives to SO2 become available.
b) Acceptable sources of SO2: i) Solutions of 5% SO2 or greater, prepared
by bubbling gas through water; burning of asbestos free sulphur wicks
in barrels. ii) Wines that have been processed with the addition of
SO2 must indicate that they contain sulphate on the front or back label.
Potassium and sodium metabisulphites are not allowed
Stabilizing Agents Allowed:
1) Citric, tartaric, malic and ascorbic acids from non-synthetic sources are tolerated according to provincial and federal standards.
2) Cold stabilization for tartrate precipitation.
Clarification and Fining:
While natural settling and racking is recommended, the following
materials and processes are tolerated:
• Fish based fining agents (Isinglass)
• Non-hydrolysed bone gelatine
• Pure casein, guaranteed free of residue
• Diatomaceous earth
• Fresh egg whites (from certified organic sources if available)
• Cellulose plate filters
• Sterile filtration with membrane filters
• Cross-flow filtration
Storage and Transportation Vessels
Barrels and tanks made from wood or stainless steel are recommended. Inert gas to fill unused space in barrels or tanks.
Plastic tanks or barrels are tolerated if they meet all provincial and Federal standards for the intended use. Food grade silicon
bungs are tolerated for sealing wood barrels.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is introducing a new label for organic wines sold across Canada. It will carry a logo of a maple leaf rising from behind a field with the words biologique Canada organic . Wines that are only sold in their own province will not require the new label.
Organic Wineries in Canada
Hainle Estate Winery 18-acre Vine Yard and Winery in Peachland has been B.C's first Certified organic Winery since 1988. From the 1993 vintage, the following wines, for the first time in British Columbia, bear the COABC decal, identifying both the grapes and winemaking as certified organic: Traminer, Riesling, Bibendum White, Bibendum Rosé, Icewine. As of 2002 we added 28 acres of vineyards which have been organically managed as well. As of 2008 we have joined PACS and are now international certified organic.
Summerhill Estate BC's Okanagan has certified organic grapes. Some of their wines say "Made with Certified Organic Grapes". Summerhill became a certified organic winery in November 2007 so all 2007 vintage wines will be 100% certified organic! They are certified
Rollingdale Winery located in the Lakeview Heights of Kelowna is a Certified organic winery. Winemakers Steve Dale's philosophy: Organic grapes taste best! Preserve the fruit.
Forbidden Fruit Winery has been operating as an organic farm since 1977. All wines made with
using 100% Certified Organic Similkameen Valley fruit.
Deep Creek Wine Estate & Hainle Vineyards is located in the sunny Okanagan wine region of British Columbia practices organic farming but according to Certified Organic Associations of BC they are not as yet certified
Sage Hill Vineyard was created in 2006 by Rick and Leah Thrussell. They bought the 11-acre Dickinson Farm in Summerland
With a strong belief in the preservation of the environment and a home situated in the middle of the vineyard, the Thrussell family wanted to avoid using herbicides or pesticides that could adversely affect the land, themselves or their neighbours
Frogpond Farm claims to be the only certified winery in Ontario.
Certified by OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada to comply with the OC/Pro Organic Standard
and the Canadian Organic Standards.
Vineyards Nova Scotia
Southbrook Vineyards Canada's first biodynamic winery certified by Demeter
since 2008' They operate their whole farm on 150 acres in Niagara on the Lake, on using biodynamic meathods.
Rather than dabble in a few biodynamic practices, we have committed ourselves to the full certification process. We have gone to unprecedented lengths in the Canadian wine industry to demonstrate to the undecided that biodynamics can be successful in our cool climate. Our team is led by Winemaker Ann Sperling who has organized important initiatives to promote awareness among all interested wineries in the area. Her team includes our Vineyard Manager Scott Jones and Associate Winemaker Brian Hamilton. Together, they have carried out additional research and study to expand our understanding of biodynamics.
. For additional information please see Biodynamics Southbrook Vineyards
Rustic Roots 5 Generations of Organic Farming
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed a new label for
organic wines that will appear on bottles that cross provincial or
The logo - a maple leaf rising behind a field with the words "biologique Canada
organic" - will be phased in until Dec. 14, 2008, when it becomes mandatory,
said agency spokesman Marc Richard. Wines sold within their own province won't
In December 2006 the Canadian government published the Organic Products Regulation
to regulate organic certification in Canada for organic products. Details on
this new regulation are available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Canadian
Organic Office website. The new regulation was implemented
on June 30, 2009
Please see OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc, Organic Certification Bodies
Demeter International is the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture, and is one of three predominant organic certifiers. Demeter Biodynamic Certification is used in over 50 countries to verify that biodynamic products meet international standards in production and processing. The Demeter certification program was established in 1928, and as such was the first ecological label for organically produced foods.
Demeter's "biodynamic" certification requires biodiversity and ecosystem preservation, soil husbandry, livestock integration (this requirement is exempt In biodynamic vineyards), prohibition of genetically engineered organisms and viewing the farm as a living "holistic organism". The certification verifies the fulfillment of the standards on behalf of the farmers, which in turn guaranties high quality food products to the consumers
Kosher Wines ~ Fortified Wines
Wineries of Canada
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