Organic wine: a focus for the Old World 

Comparative analysis by Agence Bio/ISWR and Meininger’s of organic wine production and consumption reveals that becoming a certified producer is of greater appeal in the Europe and the US than in other parts of the New World.

Organic vineyard of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, California
Organic vineyard of Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles, California

At the end of 2019, Europe’s focus on production was greatest in Mediterranean countries, Austria and Germany. Greece, and Portugal are the exceptions to this rule, despite having climates that are generally better suited to this form of agriculture than Germany or Northern France.

Organic wine production worldwide

New World countries such as New Zealand and Australia have chosen to rely more heavily on their own sustainability certificates, which consider organic viticulture as only one of several factors that include water use, a reduction of fossil fuel and efforts to maintain links between winemaking and the local community.

The US is an interesting exception to this rule. To be certified as USDA organic in that country wines have to be produced with zero use of SO2. Wines can, however, be marketed and labelled as ‘made from organically grown grapes’, in which case, sulphor dioxide can be used.


Organic wine consumption worldwide

Organic wine consumption in Europe is primarily driven by Germany and France, which took the lead in 2017, drinking more than 40 per cent of the global volume of more than 5 million hectolitres. Interest in organic wine is growing in the UK in which the proportion of organic wine is surprisingly larger than in Sweden, where the Systembolaget is committed to the promotion of ‘green’ wines. Sales in Scandinavia are expected to grow, however, as they are in Japan.


Sources: Agence Bio/ISWR, Meininger‘s



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