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4 wins! Win-win-win-win (TWS-members-producers-our beautiful planet)

I have struggled for ages trying to find good organic wine, that is not two dimensional and not eye-wateringly expensive. I have churned through recommendations, so am not after anymore here.
What I am after is your feedback on an idea, please.

If TWS organised a “members awarded 2021” competition for “Organic and/or sustainably-produced” wines, they would:

  1. see the strength of members’ feeling on this subject
    2.create a virtuous circle of good vineyard and wine production management
    3.create an innovation-inducing debate and conversation on this subject
  2. economically reward producers and benefit members
  3. propel TWS to beneficial media coverage and so forth

and much more.

My company and I (Clear Public Space) would help and assist in making this happen (fix criteria-schedule-dates-partners).
I cannot see the downside. Who is in?! If TWS don’t respond who wants to organise it with me?

It would put TWS at the forefront of this massive global subject (and help my months-long journey of trying to find good organic wine that doesn’t cost the earth) as well as attracting new and young members. The idea of it is exciting! No? Thanks for the time reading this.

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Hiya Luke!

Welcome to the Community. :smiley:

It’s great to see you have such a passion for organic wine - you’ll find lots of members here who agree with you, I’m sure.

An organic wine competition probably isn’t within scope for The Wine Society to organise officially at the moment - we select all of our wines based on quality alone rather than whether they’re organic or not (although we do sell lots of organic wines, and many that aren’t officially certified but are still farmed organically), and we already have our own annual tasting competition in the form of Wine Champions, which will certainly include organic wines!

That said, I do really like the idea of members nominating and voting for their favourite organic wines here, so you’re all more than welcome to organise something on the Community! You can use our poll function to vote, if that’s of interest - and I’d be happy to help promote it too.

I’ll step back and see what everyone else here thinks - but thanks again for bringing the idea to the Community, Luke! :smiley:

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Thanks Laura, does the annual tasting competition declare the best-tasting organic wine?

If we use the poll function as you suggest, we would need a box (or half case)
of 12 set/agreed beforehand- to decide within that box which was best - within a certain price range and set time (April for example). So then, we could

  1. headline the competition “organic wine between £7.50-£27.50” or similar
  2. have people order the case
  3. set the time-schedule to taste by
    etc. because of sustainability reasons, I would determine that the first would be Euro-centric. And then you could have a world-competition at a later date with people making suggestions to TWS even? And it could be split up into Comp 1 , comp 2 etc as there are many organic/sustainability wines. if this is interesting to you, I will devote more time to working out the organic - sustainability-bio-diversity criteria.

I think Laura’s point was that it’s up to you. This is a member to member community. It means you can decide the terms, structure and selection criteria then all you have to do is generate the excitement within the Community so we all want to take part…

You could start by asking members to nominate their favourite organic wines and see where that leads.

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Thanks - now understood. Thanks. So, we will see if there is any uptake on this. And then contrive a 1/2 case, or whatever, of what members suggest. I will update accordingly.

Hi Luke,

You enthusiasm is wonderful and I wanted to engage in the points you have made with you particularly on sustainability in wine making and organic production which in effect are two different things.
Across the wine industry there is an increasing move to empowering and encouraging those brands and individuals who are engaging in sustainable viticulture and often organic production with the added aim at reducing carbon footprint in the production of wine.
It’s really something that’s picked up pace in the couple past year with informed consumers very much behind that drive.
For example, we are seeing a much more cohesive and positive attitude towards natural wines from consumers who historically dismissed them and encouraging steps towards seeking out wines which are increasingly made with minimal intervention techniques.
(All you need to do is look at the success of merchants such as Model wines, Le Cave, Sourcing table, natty boy to name a few).

However, not all of these wineries or winemakers will be certified organic as @laura has already mentioned and there are many reasons behind those decisions for any given wineries such as :

  • Climatic influence, which can mean a vineyard is hugely susceptible to threats such as mildew, versus a winery in a hotter more arid region awarding the latter an advantageous position in gaining "organic / Biodynamic "status.

  • A younger winery, who hasn’t farmed long enough or does not have capital outlay to invest in organic certification.

There are also many other reasons why a winery wouldn’t have this status .
Personally I feel wines which are produced in a sustainable manner, working to reduce and offset their carbon omission whilst feeding back into the local eco system are far more beneficial to the planet than having a certification, as often the carbon omissions of Organically produced wines have a greater negative impact on the local environment.

I do believe people want to drink better and there is a “market” for organically produced wine, however we could also argue there is a “market” for vegan wine or for “biodynamically” produced wine so it would be interesting to hear what your criteria markers would be for this case of wine, as I feel it would be counter productive to include wines just on the basis they are certified over wines which aren’t and have a lower carbon footprint.

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I’m not sure if TWS needs to promote organic wine through a specific completion. It would be great to have those that were successful in the annual tasting and so show their merit in open competition (or not).
Then there’s a whole mine field of different categories ie natural, organic, biodynamic, vegan. Each has followers. It would be difficult to fit these all into a case or competition.
Finally there’s sustainably and carbon footprinpt. Which maybe the most important and do the categories above mean a lower footprint?

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my strength of feeling on the subject can best be summed up by the word yawn

I can see the benefit to you and your company, but even if such a competition were to be run , TWS could do it on their own.

No.

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As @Leah has said, many don’t brand their wines as “organic” because a great many which were so branded in the early years sold almost exculsively on that branding. I and others like me would consider those wines undrinkable. For the past 20 years, things have changed greatly. Chapoutier, for example went biodynamic from the early '90s simply because Michel had realised that there were no worms or lizards in their vineyards. None of their labels carry such information. Many others, e.g Cullen, Schlumberger, Watrekloof or Bodega Argento do likewise.
Ergo, we would need to have detailed info on production techniques at each winery before it could be determined whether or not a wine have been cultivated organically.

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Thank you @Leah @laura , @Brocklehurstj @whiskytutor and @Russ (and thank you @peterm too- I will try not to cyber-harrass-your-inbox-to-sleep). I will await further responses before suggesting anything more.

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Luke you could consider trying to fire up the many lurkers out there, I would love to see a greater cross section of our members posting, including yourself.

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Maybe @TinVin, you could suggest to @peterm that he says why an idea, that drives an alternative to the present chemical-ecologically-harmful-way-of-producing-wine, makes him (and other TWS members no doubt) want to go to sleep? Are TWS members sleeping, or not believing that we have quite a jaw-droppingly-big-issue on our hands?

I’m more interested in waking up the many lurkers, hoped for a little help.

Perhaps its just me, but I’m deeply sceptical about a Ltd Company… hoping to align / link with TWS membership via TWS forum. If it was a charity or not-for-profit then I can see progress, but a Ltd company is a commercial enterprise, run for profit.

Please note I’m not addressing the ethics or anything to do with green issues, and this ABSOLUTELY is not a jab at LukeDouglas Home (indeed I share many concerns and interests with organic wine)… simply that this kind of introduction should be via the proper channels & TWS directly ?

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Hi Luke,

I think your entire project is focused around the premise that organic wine is fundamentally ‘better’ than the alternative.

I don’t think that’s ever been demonstrated or proven.

Yes, non-organic wine has some negative externalities, but that’s for consumers to decide which they’d prefer to buy, rather than having it forced upon them.

I think you make assumptions about the value that consumers place upon the positives of organic wine, which I would venture might not always be born out in practice.

For example, when responding to surveys, it’s well known that respondents will often reply with what they think they’re supposed to say, but when it comes to putting their hand in their pocket, they’ll act completely differently.

I would also echo earlier comments that organic wine has commonly been very poor in the past, and that in the end, quality sells.

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I understand you @lapin_rouge, I think. I was offering things freely. Because that is my area of knowledge, interest, passion, working life. I was encouraged by TWS to engage here. it was not me wanting to do this. I will go. I am a member of TWS, and I have found their sustainability/biodynamic/organic/whateverpants offering 300% meagre, and thought that you members, and they, might want assistance in the right (possibly) direction. Oh well. Goodbye, and good luck. The latest in 1874 was shameful on this very pressing subject. It did TWS and its members (me and you) a disservice, I think. But, whatever.

Thanhk you @AndrewSavage. I am going now. My “entire project” is not based on that. My “entire project” is based on the fact that I have not yet found a very good bottle of bio or organic wine for under £25, and I thought that members of the TWS might help, not from subjective recommendations but rather group analysis. I am going now (my first and last brush with TWS members chat) and my end point to you is rhetorical (and I hope we meet sometime in Stevenage or wherever); when our interlinkedness with nature and the environment is a certainty, what is an 'externality?"

Luke don’t go, not like that, don’t go back to the lurking side, there is room for you here.

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This is because Bio / Organic wine is expensive to produce.

Are we talking to LukeDouglasHome, wine society member, or a company director of “Clear Public Space Ltd” because you cannot talk for both

You should get yourself a bottle from these guys


£12.95 I paid for it off the list. Absolutely fantastic (when not corked!) And I’ve heard their red is pretty smart too.
Both organic and biodynamic.
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