[NAFEX] organic grapes

road's end farm organic101 at linkny.com
Sun Nov 24 12:54:45 EST 2002


Hi Dee --

There are organic wineries. I don't know what part of the country you're 
in. I know of two in the Finger Lakes area of New York. I don't know if 
they're buying. You should investigate the market in terms of what 
varieties are desired (and hope they're the same varieties wanted in 
three or four years when the vines come into full production) and also 
in terms of which of those varieties will do well on your specific site, 
and which of them will do well under organic management. Some grapes are 
much easier to raise organically than others.

You would have to be certified, with an agency accredited under the new 
Federal rule. (presuming you're in the USA.) If you can get a notarized 
affidavit from the sellers listing everything applied to the property 
within the last three years (or more), or stating that nothing has been, 
it should speed things up; but it's going to take several years to get 
the vineyards established anyway. You should get ahold of a set of 
standards immediately, so you don't accidentally apply something you 
thought was acceptable that isn't any more (and the federal rules just 
changed some things there, too). In most parts of the country there are 
several certifiers operating. NOFA is good for fruits and vegetables in 
much of the northeast; but you should investigate all the certifiers 
operating in your area. While the Federal rule has standardized most of 
what's permissible and forbidden, different certifiers may still be 
using different formats for the paperwork etc, and you want to try to 
find one that will be relatively easiest for your operation to deal 
with. (I do stress "relatively", there is a lot of paperwork.)

--Rivka


On Sunday, November 24, 2002, at 12:57  AM, Dee wrote:
>
> So if someone wanted to raise and sell organic grapes what can be 
> expected of the market? A
> friend of mine sold 7 tons of non-organic grapes to a winery this last 
> summer and I am wondering
> if there are "organic" wineries and would I have to be certified 
> organic to be labeled? I
> imagine I would. Anyone know of a good site for getting certified? We 
> sign the purchase
> agreement Wednesday on 20 acres and I am pretty sure nothing has been 
> done to it regarding
> fertilizing and pest and weed control for the last 7 years and 
> wondering what all would be
> expected to get certified.
>
> Dee




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