Robert Parker Wine Advocate unveils two brand new search filter capabilities on the RobertParker.com website: the ability to search for wines that are certified organic and/or certified biodynamic. Adding to these new search functions is the Robert Parker Green Emblem – a recognition given to selected wineries that have demonstrated extraordinary efforts in the pursuit of environmentally friendly practices.
Certified: A “certified” organic or biodynamic wine is one that has been grown and/or made using methods that have been audited and verified as organic or biodynamic, as dictated by the regulations of one of the internationally recognised third-party organisations.
Organic: Organic viticulture involves a regulated set of farming principles, for which the degree of strictness versus conventional farming depends on the countries in which the grapes are produced and on where the wine is sold. Throughout the world where the use of the word “organic” is legally controlled and protected, regulations can vary. In order to declare grapes as organically grown, the producer will need to seek certification by a recognised third-party auditing institution within the country of production. Usually, a vineyard will need to go through a three-year conversion period of documented and randomly tested adherence to the national legal guidelines before an organically grown certification can be granted.
Generally speaking, organic grape growing precludes the use of artificial chemicals such as chemical fertilisers, herbicides and synthetic pesticides in the vineyard. Most countries allow naturally occurring compounds to be applied within stricter limits than conventional agriculture, such as the limited use of sulfur and copper spraying in vineyards for the production of wines from “organically grown grapes.” Major organic certifying organisations around the world include: Ecocert, USDA Organic, BioGro NZ, Australian Certified Organic and EU Organic.
Biodynamic: First established by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, biodynamics is a set of farming practices that follow more philosophically based guidelines than those of conventional farming. In essence it uses a foundation of organic farming methods, such as the exclusion of artificial chemicals, and builds upon these. For example, specially crafted composts and herbal infusions are rigorously applied to vineyards. The movements and phases of celestial bodies are commonly used to determine the timing of key winemaking practices. Biodynamic certifying organisations include Demeter and Biodyvin.
Robert Parker Green Emblem: Recognises a winery or producer that extends their efforts far beyond the requirements for organic and/or biodynamic certification, serving as true ambassadors for environmentally friendly practices.
Criteria for Green Emblem
To qualify for this award, a winery may or may not already be certified organic and/or biodynamic. Beyond or apart from certification, the producer needs to be an outstanding proponent of sustainability looking towards long-term environmental protection and biodiversity. The Robert Parker Green Emblem is carefully considered and is awarded on rare and exceptional merit.
Each year, Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviewers nominate new candidates from their regions that they feel are worthy for the Robert Parker Green Emblem. Each nomination is researched and discussed across the editorial group. Once a winery is recognized, all of their wines will carry the Robert Parker Green Emblem going forward, until changes at the winery may result in the recognition being rescinded.
Says Nicolas Achard, CEO of Robert Parker Wine Advocate, “We are aware of the increased consumer desire for responsible and environmentally committed viticulture, and for easier access to this information. In the Robert Parker Wine Advocate team, we share these concerns, which is why we decided to develop the Robert Parker Green Emblem to highlight the vineyards that combine richness of taste and sustainable viticulture. We wish to facilitate the meeting between these committed winemakers, who prove to us how respect for the environment can glorify the terroirs and the vines without compromising the taste and the quality of the wines.”
The inaugural Robert Parker Green Emblem list
Robert Parker Wine Advocate consists of a global team of 10 experienced wine critics who are committed to highlighting the world’s best wines, shedding light on magnificent terroirs and their diversity, as well as exceptional craftsmen and timeless traditions. Led by Editor-in-Chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, the team of expert wine critics delved deeply into their respective assigned regions, and carefully weighed the case for including these wineries on the inaugural list. The first Robert Parker Green Emblem in 2021 includes 24 wineries with impeccable reputations for sustainability. The list covers eight countries and five continents.
“Our new Organic and Biodynamic filters and the Robert Parker Green Emblem recognitions are our way of recognising the increasing importance to wine consumers of sustainable practices in wine production. No other wine appreciation website is thus empowering wine lovers who want to drink more sustainably. With these new enhancements to our website, our subscribers now have the ability to easily find great wines produced with a like-minded philosophy of sustaining the health and viability of our planet for future generations,” says Perrotti-Brown.
Look for the new sustainability filters/symbols when accessing thousands of wine reviews at www.RobertParker.com.