There is a growing demand for Organic, Biodynamic and Sustainable wine. Last year, the food industry grew 1 percent, while the organic food industry grew 8 percent. Consumers want food and wine made without using synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, growth hormones and other additives. Wine consumers want wine made using farming practices that support a self-sufficient and healthy ecosystem – benefitting the environment. These biodynamic practices follow principles such as crop rotation, composting, homeopathic fertilizers and animal life. As a result of the increased demand for these two production processes, came official certification and labeling standards that had to be met by producers in order to label their wine ‘Organic’ or ‘Biodynamic’. The USDA sets the standards for which wineries can label their wine ‘Organic’. Strict guidelines must be followed such as not using any of the chemicals on the ‘Prohibited Substance’ list and undergoing periodic inspections before a winery can label their wine as ‘Organic’. The Demeter Association grants biodynamic certification for wine. This association requires wineries that place the Demeter Wine stamp of approval on their bottles to adhere to requirements such as agronomic guidelines, livestock guidelines, post-harvest handling and processing procedures. In order to be a certified organic winery, the winery must adhere to the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) guidelines and undergo annual inspections by the CCOF. Deerfield Ranch Winery has been a certified organic winery for four years now.
There also exists a demand for wine that has low histamines and sulfites. More and more people are realizing that the reason they get negative reactions to wine such as headaches, redness in the face and other allergic reactions is because of winemaking practices. Robert Rex, winemaker for Deerfield Ranch Winery, has been making Clean Wine for thirty-years and has established the standard in the wine industry for producing low histamine, low sulfite wine. PJ, Robert’s wife, is allergic to sulfites and gets red wine headaches. Robert, a chemist, was determined to make wine PJ could drink – with his chemistry education and over 40 years of winemaking experience Robert Rex sets the standard for clean wine making, and yes, PJ can drink Robert’s wine.