Certifications are standards set by international organisations that acknowledge organic viticultural and wine making practices. They take time and dedication to achieve. Certified organic producers are required to keep records of everything they do and are independently audited each year.
To acknowledge these certifications, we have broken them down into groups that allow the various steps in the process to be recognised.
This symbol recognizes vineyard practices whereby no artificial chemicals have been used in the vineyard, this includes fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Some naturally occurring compounds may be used in regulated quantities, an example of this is copper, in the control of Powdery Mildew.
BioGro and AsureQuality are New Zealand's leading organic certifiers with programmes designed to meet standards in international markets. The standards acknowledge a high-level certification that takes a minimum of three years to achieve. The process promotes biodiversity, and the use of biological and natural materials in the winery and vineyard. Each producer is independently audited each year.
Where overseas wineries have achieved similar accreditation, but under different programmes, we have used the New Zealand term 'BioGro' for simplification.
As the road to BioGro Certification can take years 'In Conversion' acknowledges the commitment by the producer to ultimately achieve certification. A winery in-conversion has enrolled in the organic certification process.
Biodynamics is a systems approach, where the vineyard is viewed as a living whole and each activity affects everything else, it includes the regular use of specially defined biodynamic compost preparations to stimulate biological activity in the soil and improve nutrient retention. Regarded as a holistic approach to reduce the impact on the environment the practice is said to enhance flavour, appearance and longevity. Demeter is a worldwide certification system used to verify to the consumer that the wine has been produced by biodynamic methods.
Vegan friendly wines, as the name suggests, means no animal product has been used in the wine making process. People may be surprised this is even an issue, but some winemakers may use products such as egg white or casein to aid wine clarification.