Compost key in organic wine

González Byass said 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is the first Ecocert certified organic wine for its Casablanca Valley, Chile-based its Viñedos Veramonte. Veramonte is the standard bearer within the González Byass umbrella of Chilean labels, which also include Ritual, Primus and Neyen, and this release marks the first of what will eventually become a 100 percent organic/biodynamic stable of all its Chilean wines, the company said.

Toward González Byass’ plans to convert all of its vast vineyard holdings in the Casablanca, Colchagua and Apalta Valleys to 100 percent organic and biodynamic, so far 1,200 acres of vineyards have been certified organic. In Chile, there are roughly 12,000 acres planted with organic grapes.

At Veramonte, quality compost application was implemented in order to increase soil biodiversity, using stems and pomace collected during harvest season. Cover cropping in between vineyard rows improved soil structure, reduced erosion and added key nutrients for vines. Animal husbandry was introduced in the form of a flock of sheep, in order to help with minimal impact grass mowing, as well as to obtain healthy manure. Vast habitat breaks, their natural corridors for beneficial wildlife, have always been an essential component in Veramonte’s unique terroir, as they provide a critically self-regulated ecosystem, eliminating any need for herbicides or pesticides of any kind, the company said.

González Byass said certified organic has been one of the fastest growing Chilean wine categories in recent years.

The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc was certified by Ecocert, the French inspection and certification body.

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