It’s getting close to 10 years since we adopted a more organic approach to our viticulture. He’s our thoughts from 8 years ago, from The Tin Shed – Spring 2011:
Constant improvement is the name of the game, always searching for better ways to make distinctive wines that better express our unique terroir. We believe that healthy soils managed in a more sustainable and natural way is a key part of that, and this has led us down an organic path. The 2010 season was our first managed organically, and the results to date are better than expected, given that farms often goes through a dip in production during transition. Perhaps this is because we have been reducing our chemical inputs steadily over the preceding years anyway.
Now we are faced with a few difficult decisions – do we formally certify our operations as organic, and do we label our wines as organic? Separate but related issues. There are a number of organic certification bodies in Australia, and if you pay them they will monitor your operations and allow you to use their certification logo. Certification gives consumers confidence that organic protocols are being followed, but what do consumers think of organic wine? Does it spell quality, as we want it to, or does it remind them of second grade fruit? Also, do consumers relate differently to fresh organic products as opposed to products manufactured from organic ingredients (like wine)?
Most likely we will certify, and then decide whether or not to declare it on our label. I actually think that over time organic protocols will merge with more traditional protocols and a “best practice” will emerge – and that will be a good thing!