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Organic, Biodynamic or Sustainable Wine?

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Here's To All Three!

There are major differences between organic, bio dynamic and sustainable farming practices, although they may seem so similar in spirit.

Ampelos is the first vineyard in Santa Barbara County and one of the first in the United States to receive all 3 certifications sustainability in practice, organic and biodynamic.

Rebecca Work is one of the founders and she gives a clear explanation of the differences in this video.

Organic is the process of producing food naturally by avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides to influence the growth of crops. The motto of the organic farmer is to protect the earth by relying on natural fertilizers and pest control systems to care for the plants.

Biodynamic embraces all aspects of organic but takes the notion further by holistically treating the entire vineyard as a living ecological, self-sustaining system. Additionally it uses "forces" to determine when to apply its unique substances or preparations to the vineyard as well as when to plant, prune, water and harvest.
Irrigation is timed with the moon's phases for example. It sees the need for the farm to follow the earth's schedule...not the farmer's!

Sustainability In Practice - this addresses the whole farm. Its goal is to give back, by protecting both natural and human resources, while still growing as a business. Environmental stewardship, social, economic equity and economic profitability are all valued. The major goals of this approach are to develop economically viable ecosystems and to enhance the quality of the environment, so that farmlands remain productive indefinitely.

Let's toast to all three!

--Bibi Farber