New Label for Organic Wines

New Label for Organic WinesThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed a new label for organic wines that will appear on bottles that cross provincial or international borders. This logo will apply to both grape and fruit wines produced under the organic wine standards of Canada.

The logo — a maple leaf rising behind a field with the words “biologique Canada organic” — will be phased in until Dec. 14, 2008, when it becomes mandatory, said agency spokesman Marc Richard. Wines sold within their own province won’t require it.

The new label was requested by the wine industry so it could have access to export markets, Richard said. Other countries want to see one Canadian label, rather than having to figure out which provincial certifying bodies (there about 45 in Canada) meet their requirements. The agency will audit all provincial certifiers to ensure their standards are up to par, he said.

To be certified organic, wine must be made from grapes or fruit grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. The winemaking process must also be organic, with no additives such as sulfites (which do occur naturally in wine). Some wines with added sulfites may be labelled “wine made from organic grapes.”

Consumers may also encounter wines labelled as “biodynamic” products: these are organic wines from vineyards or orchards that utilize homeopathic treatments of the vines and plants and lunar harvest cycles, and time winemaking processes according to the stars and planets.

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