“Is VinSante Organic?”

Posted on March 2, 2014

The question often comes up: Is VinSanté organic?
In the simplest form, the answer to “Is it certified organic?” is “No”, but VinSanté, and most wines from California, go far beyond “organic.”
When wine grape juice is fermenting it needs to be stabilized, and that is accomplished with a very thin layer of sulfur dioxide on top of the juice in the fermenting tank. Therefore sulfur dioxide appears in most wines at tiny parts per million. The addition of sulfur dioxide in wine keeps it from being labeled organic. Many think that as a result, organic wines suffer in taste and livability. VinSanté is not fermented and no sulfur dioxide is used in its’ production.
Most of the wine makers in the Western United States have gone to the “Certified Sustainable Winegrowing” program in accordance with the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance www.sustainablewinegrowing.org , whose goal is “to advance the entire California wine industry toward best practices in environmental stewardship, conservation of natural resources and socially equitable business practices”.
We buy our wine grape juice from two different brokers, one in Napa and the other in Madera , California. Both of these brokers work very closely with vineyard grape providers to assure that they adhere to the Sustainable Winegrowing Programs.
Some examples of Sustainable Winegrowing Programs are:
• Utilizing cover crops to reduce erosion, build soil fertility, and provide habitat for beneficial insects.
• Practices that carefully monitor the balance of insects, soil fertility, soil moisture, and vine health.
• The use of natural predators , such as hawks and owls, to control animal pests.
• The use of paraffin-based oils (an organic product) to control mildew.

Another term heard in the wine vineyards is “Biodynamic”. Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both methods use no chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem. The farmers take into consideration astrological influences and lunar cycles. Some even go so far as to place a cow horn full of manure at the end of the vineyard rows.

So, the wine grape juice in VinSante goes even further in sustainability than the government term “organic”. The vineyard owners in California got together years ago to keep their grapes free from genetically modified processes, and any other manipulation that would interfere with the natural goodness of wine grapes.

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