Gayot.com's list of top 10 organic wines sparked my interest a few weeks ago when I was researching a wine mentioned on it that's a wine in my iPhone app...but then I started to notice something fishy.
Some of the wines in the top 10 are not organically grown.
I emailed the editor and then we spoke on the phone. I told him which wines weren't organic.
It's two weeks later and I just casually circled back to see if the list had been updated. It hasn't.
So here, for your information, are the wines on the "Gayot.com Top 10 Organic Wine List" that aren't (according to the wineries themselves):
#3 Sokol Blosser Evolution (totally not organic)
#4 Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc* (they buy fruit from "practicing organic" vineyards)
#5 Benziger Chardonnay (not listed on their site as organic)
So...Gayot.com doesn't care?
It brings up a common problem - the three brands listed here have made being organic and/or biodynamic such a big part of their brand that they have skillfully branded nonorganic wines as organic.
There is however no certifier label on the bottle saying they're organically grown, however, which should at least have prompted a call to the winery to double check.
I look forward to the day when things are clearer and brands protect against that perception - hopefully by offering only organically grown wines.
Personally I try to support the ones who are ONLY organically grown. That way I don't have to keep up with so many niggly details.
Brands that make their entire line of wines from 100% organic or biodynamically certified grapes include:
Barra of Mendocino
Horse and Plow