Yesterday, the Sole 24 Ore (Italy’s leading finance daily) published an article on the European wine trade’s growing organic movement.
The article, by Giorgio Dell’Orefice, is based on data released this week by Millésime Bio, the annual conference devoted to organic- and biodynamic-farmed wines (held this week in Montpellier, France).
According to the report, 275,000 hectares planted to vine are currently farmed organically in Europe, representing 3.6 percent of the world’s vineyards. This figure has grown by 11 percent since 2013 and it grew by 164 percent between 2007 and 2013.
European growers account for 73 percent of organically farmed vineyards across the globe with Austria in the lead (9.7 percent), followed by France (8.5), Spain (8.4), Italy (7.9), and Germany (7.4).
Dell’Orefice points to Franciacorta as one of Italy’s leaders and pioneers in organic farming and winemaking.
“Enormous progress has been made,” says Barone Pizzini general manager Silvano Brescianini, who is quoted in the piece.
“Of the total 2,900 hectares planted to vine in Franciacorta, more than 1,000 are farmed organically. Today, they represent 33 percent of the total production. Five years ago, only 5 percent were formed organically.”
“It’s a developing process,” adds Brescianini, “and it has certainly been helped by new E.U. regulation of organic farming practices which took effect in 2012.” These norms will help to standardize the organic farming of grapes, he notes.
Organic grape growing continues to face challenges, however.
“One of the principal problems is that European organic certification is not recognized in the U.S. market. This is a problem that will have to be resolved in U.S.-E.U. trade negotiations since Europe continues to the world leader in this sector, accounting for more than 70 percent of the organically farmed vineyards in the world today.”