BioGro: Staying true to organic farming principles as a 21st Century Winemaker

The BioGro logo is internationally recognised as a symbol for organic farming practices – something South Island Winemakers TOSQ and Black Estate were eager to align with. We caught up with the talented people behind these class leading wineries, who feature at the 2018 South Island Wine & Food Festival to learn about why BioGro Certification was important to them and their businesses.

BioGro has been at the forefront of the organic movement for over 30 years and is now the most universally recognised organic logo in New Zealand. The BioGro logo assures the consumer that the product has been made without any animal testing, genetic modification and the routine use of synthetic pesticides.

The BioGro vision grew from a group of organic innovators with the mission of enabling a sustainable and ethical future for producers and consumers. As a response to growing consumer demand for organic goods, BioGro promotes a widely understood set of values that allow consumers and producers alike to more easily understand the organic winemaking process in a market wrought with misleading information.

BioGro Certified growers and winemakers value biodiversity in the vineyard, using biological and naturally derived materials and processes to reduce their impact on the wider environment. The health of the vines is built from the ground up with biologically active soils sustaining the robust vines and fruits.

BioGro have been certifying New Zealand Organic Winegrowers for over 25 years. The complete certification process requires a minimum of 3 years compliance with the BioGro NZ Organic Standards

  • 1st year – Registration year
  • 2nd year – C1 Conversion Status
  • 3rd year – C2 Conversion Status
  • 4th year – Fully certified organic

SIWFF Winemaker TOSQ explained that being a certified BioGro winery means staying true to the values of respect and care for the land our industry depends on. “First and foremost, it is the organic farming practices that are important to us – to know that we are working in a gentle and sympathetic way to nurture the soil and the fruit without harmful sprays, herbicides and synthetic chemicals. Farming that way also creates a really pleasant working environment for everyone on the property.” Sue also explains that TOSQ see the organic approach as proactive rather than re-active. Black Estate shares the sentiments expressed by TOSQ. BioGro Certified themselves, Black Estate’s Penelope Naish told us how they “wanted to grow our wine organically, to ensure we had strong healthy vineyards, quality fruit with flavour and to keep improving our three special sites every year.”

Even in an increasingly competitive market, both Black Estate and TOSQ hold strong belief that without the use of harsh chemicals and pesticides they are able to grow better quality fruit, producing better wine and fantastic, healthier vineyards for their people to work amongst.

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