Trade reaction: chemicals, copper, sulphur and organics in viticulture

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Should wine producers using synthetic pesticides be made to put ‘chemgro’ on their bottles? And if so, should organic farmers communicate about copper and sulphur use in the vineyard? We sound out the global wine trade.

Following a story earlier this month in which New Zealand winemaker Nick Mills called for conventional farmers to communicate about their use of chemicals in the vineyard, we round up some further thoughts and reactions from the wider winemaking community on the subject of chemicals, copper, sulphur and organics in viticulture.

Firstly, to look back, we have reproduced some of the views expressed by Nick Mills, who works at Central Otago’s Rippon Vineyard, which has been organic since it was founded in 1982 and became biodynamic in 2003.

Speaking at a masterclass on organic wines from New Zealand, which has held in London last month, Mills expressed his frustration that those who don’t use synthetic chemicals must seek and pay for certification to communicate their approach to viticulture.

“Why is it that it is organic that has to be certified; it should be the other way round should, it should state that it is chemgro,” he said.

So what do others in the global wine industry think?

While some in the trade agreed with Mills, there were also certain members of the business who took exception to the suggestion, and you can read the range of responses on the following page.

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