So what I'm really after....
My shelves are full of books on growing grapes and winemaking. Not just technical, but Oz Clarke, Norman Remington, that kind of thing. Before I started out to grow on my own I read and read and read. And one thing that kept coming out was that many of the winemakers I love most and enjoy their wines the most are organic or even Biodynamic.
Great estates like: Cos d'Estournel, Chateau Beaucastel, Domaine Leroy, Zind Humbrecht, and even as I read in the most recent Saveur, Robert Mondavi's Napa vineyards for the last 4-5 years. None of these growers talk about any of the 'green' issues with being organic, it's all about the wine quality and the long term health and tipicity of their vineyards that made them turn from chemicals.
Almost every grower I meet who is trying to make quality wine is organic. But none are certified or even advertise the fact that they are organic. To me this is a little puzzling.
I've heard many reasons for this:
It's too much of a hassle to introduce yet more government oversight and costs into your operations (this is my reason by the way).
They fear being placed in the "organic" section of the wine aisle.
They fear consumers assuming an organic wine is substandard after many poor organics of the early 90's.
They fear a backlash if some year they have to spray and thus remove 'organic' from their labels. (Mondavi's vineyard manager quoted this)
So for me 'organic' or 'biodynamic', that's something that will make me try a new wine if I see it on the back label. Not because I'm concerned with my health, but to me it's a sign that the grower and winemaker are trying for quality. They care to go the extra effort.
As for the others as TexasVine roughly quoted above, "they are lazy fools." I think most of those guys on my growers board are lazy fools. They don't give a damn about quality, not one bit. Their knowledge of wine would shock most of you. Aussie Shiraz would be a new experience for them.
So that's the puzzle, and that's why I asked. Organic should be a buzz word for quality, but with consumers, it clearly is not. The reaction to "spray everyday" should be... THEY ARE MAKING CRAPPY WINE THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT QUALITY, but it's not.
I'd actually love to see the editorial staff take this up and help educate the consumer on how to tell the difference between a quality focused grower and one who is not, and do it without just reading a rating point. After all the best finds are the ones you find before the points are out.
---------------Santa Cruz Mountains Vintage Chart