Organics Aotearoa New Zealand says organic production continues to grow steadily in New Zealand to meet international demand. The 2018 OANZ market report found that the New Zealand organic sector grew 30% in three years, reaching a value of $600 million per year in 2018.
September 2022 will see an extra focus on the organic movement with New Zealand’s Organic Wine Week 19-25 September. Marked with a series of global online and physical events, the aim is to increase awareness, educate consumers and support organic producers.
For Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (OWNZ) those objectives are all part of their ongoing strategy. Set up 11 years ago with collaboration and support from NZ Winegrowers, OWNZ is a grower-led organisation dedicated to supporting and encouraging the production of high quality, organic and biodynamically grown wines.
It takes three years to become fully certified and once registered with BioGro or AsureQuality – the New Zealand organisations that provide internationally recognised organic certification – you’re on a pathway lined with support through all aspects of the process right along to trade and marketing.
A strong movement within the New Zealand organic sector is biodynamics where growers follow the same standard practices as organic growers but also use special plant, animal and mineral preparations, and work closely with the rhythmic influences of the sun, moon and planets to maximise the natural potency of their land.
Co-ordinator of Organic Winegrowers New Zealand, Rebecca Reider, says New Zealand has a climate well suited to organics and being a young, innovative industry where people are interested in trying something different, helps to drive a strong organic movement. “The companies involved are diverse . So many of the organic producers are families really connected to the land. Young families are driving the move to organics and diversity. They’re directly engaged with what they are doing.”
How do I buy organic wine?
- Many supermarkets have dedicated areas for organic products – wine included
- Check wine labels – not always obvious but check the back and do some research
- Shop at your local wine merchant or specialist – they are well versed in origin and which wines are authentically organic
- Survey restaurant wine lists – if the menu style is sympathetic to organics and fresh, healthy food, it is likely wines have been given the same consideration.