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These Winemakers Are Going Far Beyond Organic

Eschewing chemicals is merely a first step for these wine pros.

Wildflowers spring up among the rows of vines at Chene Bleu in the Southern Rhône.
Wildflowers spring up among the rows of vines at Chêne Bleu in the Southern Rhône.Image: Chêne Bleu

Organic wine used to be a niche category, but like yoga pants, it eventually came to be considered normal and then almost an expected presence. About 729 million bottles of organic wine were consumed in 2018, and that number is expected to rise by 34% to 976 million by 2023, according to a study conducted by research group IWSR.

That forecast was made in December 2019, before the pandemic arrived. In a more recent forecast of 2021 wine trends, IWSR notes that “the importance of sustainability has been reinforced in the minds of consumers,” likely driving the organic, biodynamic and low-intervention wine movement with a greater sense of urgency.

High in the Alps of the Southern Rhône, part of a UNESCO-designated biosphere that boasts 1200 species of flora, 1,400 species of butterflies and more than 120 species of nesting birds, the 75-acre Chêne Bleu uses strict organic and biodynamic practices to grow grapes and make wine, harvesting, planting and treating the soil according to the phases of the moon.

“It’s no longer enough to simply make wine that will tick all of the boxes for critics,” says Nicole Rolet, the principal and CEO of Chêne Bleu. “You have to make it in a way that’s responsible for both the people who will consume it and the planet. That means no chemicals and giving back more than you take from the land.”

Full article here

These Winemakers Are Going Far Beyond Organic