Something has changed. There are new consumers out there. New connoisseurs. People who are no longer content just to drink great-tasting wines. They want to know how the wines were made. They want to be assured that the grower and winemaker treated the land and the process respectfully.
That's where Oregon Certified Sustainable Wine (OCSW) comes in.
The OCSW logo guarantees that the wine in that bottle was made using responsible agriculture and responsible winemaking practices; and that the wine was certified by an independent third party. To meet the agricultural requirements 97% of fruit must be certified by LIVE (Low Input Viticulture Enology), USDA Organic, Demeter Biodynamic or Food Alliance and also be Salmon Safe. To meet the winery requirements the facility had to be certified by one of the previous programs.
Currently, 18 Oregon wineries, including one Southern Oregon winery- Wooldridge Creek- have wines with OCSW certification, totaling 1.75 million bottles. Wineries include: Adelsheim Vineyard, Amity Vineyards, Anne Amie Vineyards, Argyle Winery, Bethel Heights Vineyard, Chehalem, Cristom Vineyards, Dobbes Family Estate, Montinore Estate, Panther Creek Cellars, Ponzi Vineyards, Rex Hill Vineyards, Sokol Blosser Winery, Soter Vineyards, Stoller Vineyards, WillaKenzie Estate, Willamette Valley Vineyards and Wooldridge Creek Winery.
OCSW wines are now entering the market - available to consumers both directly through the winery and also with select wines in distribution channels nationwide. I certainly hope more Southern Oregon wineries follow the lead making sustainability a movement not a buzz word.