Comparison of Organics, Biodynamics, and Regenerative Agriculture
Hi Sperling friends,
Winery ownership is a complex business. It’s about agriculture and manufacturing, marketing and retailing. It involves diverse activities such from tourism to distribution logistics in a highly regulated and highly taxed environment. Now add to that - climate uncertainty. Talk about living and working with a lot of balls in the air.
We hear a lot of terms around the wine world that may be familiar, but do we know their true significance or intention? Organic, Biodynamics, and Regenerative Farming are three terms we’d like to shed light on. We are very familiar with all three at Sperling - our vineyard and winery are certified organic, we use biodynamic practices, and are proud members of Regeneration Canada.
There is overlap between these practices and a few differences, all shown in the image below. Of course, a diagram doesn't cover every detail but it’s a good starting point and overview of how these practices are interrelated and subtly different.
Regenerative Farming is likely the aspect the wine-loving public knows the least about, whereas terms like organic and biodynamic have become more familiar in recent years. Regeneration Canada is a reliable source for good information about these climate-friendly farming practices, where consumers can support and buy products made by regenerative farmers and offers peer-to-peer learning between farmers.
“Regeneration Canada helps get the word out about farmers who are committed to grasslands, permanent cover crops, biodiversity, and farming that benefits the environment instead of degrading it. Our treed perimeters, native bushes, and permanent cover crops support habitat, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere, unlike conventional agriculture with tillage that releases CO2.” -Ann Sperling, Winemaker
Our family has been farming this land for 135 years. We have immense respect for the land our great-grandparents chose for us, and a strong sense of responsibility to work in ways that allow nature’s forces to develop even better conditions for future generations. Regenerative farming focuses on improving and rehabilitating the land, going beyond the status quo. By keeping it covered in green/growing plants year-round and leaving the roots there even under cover of winter, we can optimize photosynthesis using plant power to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and hold it in the soil while increasing soil fertility.
In addition to preventing erosion, undisturbed roots function to permit water to percolate into the soil, allowing more rainfall to be absorbed and held, making it more drought-proof. Those roots form intricate relationships with fungi to transfer minerals and nutrients to our grapevines, reducing or eliminating the need for soil amendments. And super important for our cool climate grape varieties, such as Riesling, and sparkling wines – green, growing cover crops keep the vineyard environment as much as 15C cooler in the middle of hot summer days.
Visiting the Winery
We'd love to see you at the winery for a tasting or bring a picnic, grab a bottle, and wander the Labyrinth Vineyard path. Be sure to book in early as the tasting slots go quick! We’re now open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, reservations are required.
If you’re local, book a tasting before tourist season, or when you pick up your online order. If you live further away, our online store is always open! Check out our Wine Club for exclusive wines and savings. If you're looking to stock up for the weekend or try some new wines, see our latest wine bundles. Check them out here. We hope to see, or hear, from you soon!