Organic Viticulture

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

organic viticulture, a system of grape-growing broadly defined as shunning man-made (industrially synthesized) compounds such as fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides, as well as anything that has been genetically modified. Organic viticulture is a prerequisite for the production of organic wine. It contrasts with ‘conventional’, sometimes even called ‘industrialized’ or ‘chemical’ viticulture, in two main ways: by stressing management techniques such as canopy management which seek to prevent rather than cure pests and diseases, and by using naturally occurring substances. The key organic management strategy for perennial crops such as vines, for which no crop rotation is possible, involves stimulating and maintaining healthy populations of a diverse range of soil microorganisms.