Robert Bell's

Wines of Canada

Since 1992



By Definition


Organic Farming is a method which allows nature to protect and grow the produce with out introducing foreign substances.It largely excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, and livestock feed additives. As far as possible, organic farmers rely on crop rotation crop residues, animal manures and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity, to supply plant nutrients and to control weeds, insects and other pests.

Organic farmers believe there is an essential link between the health of the soil, the health of plants, the health of animals and ultimately, the health of human populations. Thus the restoration, maintenance and enhancement of soil life is the cornerstone of the organic method.

Biodynamic winery

Biodynamic farming is based on the precise observation and an attempt at balance of nature, a concept originated by the early 20th-century Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner. So, biodynamic wine is not only 100% organic, in addition, the grower has gone beyond to try to bring the farming process more closely in tune with nature. For instance, biodynamic wine growers may make their own compost and/or watch the stars and planets to time what they do.

The goal of biodynamic winemaking is to view the vineyard as a complete living system. It's about the soil, insects and other vegetation and animals that inhabit space in the vineyard - all working in harmony to bring you some incredible-tasting wine.

The Canada Organic Regime is the Government of Canada's response to requests by the organic sector and consumers to develop a regulated system for organic agricultural products. The Organic Products Regulations define specific requirements for organic products to be labelled as organic or that bear the Canada Organic logo. The regulations came into effect on June 30, 2009. All organic products bearing the Canada Organic logo or represented as organic in interprovincial and international trade must comply with the Organic Products Regulations.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for the monitoring and enforcement of the Regulations. Under the Canada Organic Regime, Certification Bodies are accredited based on the recommendation of Conformity Verification Bodies that are designated by the CFIA. The Certification Bodies are responsible for verifying the application of the Canadian Organic Standards. read More

Organic Farms Care for the Environment

Environmental protection is the primary reason most organic farmers become involved in organic agriculture. Concern for the environment is portrayed in many aspects of organic farming:

• Care in the handling of all animal wastes
• Protection of stream banks and watersheds
• Protection and fostering of wildlife including wild bird populations
• Avoiding the use of agricultural toxins - pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers
• Researching new ways to recycle agricultural nutrients - closed-loop systems

Organic wine is wine that has been produced from organically grown grapes, but no legal international definition exists. Organic wines are not necessarily sulfite free but they have no added sulfites.


There is now no officially recognized designation for wines 'made with organic grapes' in Canada. There is only 'organic wine', and it has to be made with organic grapes and have a total of 95% organic ingredients, with up to 100 ppm of total SO2 is allowed. Also no caustic soda or other synthetic chemicals are allowed for cleaning tanks and equipment. As far as I know the only certified organic wineries in BC are Summerhill and Rollingdale.

There are a number of different ways you will see bottles labeled indicating they are organic. Here's how to interpret some of the terms on wine labels:

"100% Organic" means that the wines are produced with grapes that are certified 100 per cent organically grown and do not have any sulfur dioxide added.

"Organic" means that the wines are produced with a minimum of 95 per cent organic ingredients. These wines may have a very low level of sulfur dioxide added to them.

"Made with organic grapes" refers to wines that have a minimum of 70 per cent organic grapes. These wines may have sulfur dioxide added. This is not an official creditation

Biodynamic farming techniques utilize the vineyard's natural resources to cultivate the highest-quality grapes possible without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or growth stimulants.

A vineyard that is certified biodynamic meets and typically exceeds the standards and regulations for organic certified farming.

Ezra Cipes photo by Cheryl Couch

Ezra Cipes CEO at Summerhill Pyramide Winery is very passionate about Organic farming
Photo by Cheryl Couch

Requirements for Organic Wine:

100 % of the grapes used in BC Certified Organic Wine have to be British Columbia Certified Organic or certified to be organic of equal to British Columbia Certified Organic standing by a recognized certification body.

Grapes should be harvested into clean, non-contaminated containers made from wood, food-grade plastics, or enameled metal. Polyethylene liners are tolerated. Only healthy grapes of good quality should be selected for harvest and processed as soon as possible. Processing equipment, vessels, tanks and barrels have to be kept clean; cross-contamination with non-organic grapes, must or juice or prohibited substances must be avoided.

Yeast: The use of active yeast cultures or yeast naturally present in the must is allowed. The addition of selected yeast and organic yeast nutrients is allowed. Inorganic yeast nutrients are not allowed

Sulphur Additions:The COABC encourages winemakers to produce wines without the use of sulphur dioxide (SO2). Because sulphate free wines are often perceived to be of lesser stability and present a greater risk of spoilage, the COABC tolerates the use of SO2 under the following conditions:

a) Levels of total SO2 in wines to be released are not to exceed 100 parts per million and levels of free SO2 shall be no more than 30 parts per million. The COABC may reduce these levels in future, if acceptable alternatives to SO2 become available.

b) Acceptable sources of SO2: i) Solutions of 5% SO2 or greater, prepared by bubbling gas through water; burning of asbestos free sulphur wicks in barrels. ii) Wines that have been processed with the addition of SO2 must indicate that they contain sulphate on the front or back label. Potassium and sodium metabisulphites are not allowed

Stabilizing Agents Allowed:

1) Citric, tartaric, malic and ascorbic acids from non-synthetic sources are tolerated according to provincial and federal standards.

2) Cold stabilization for tartrate precipitation.

Clarification and Fining:

While natural settling and racking is recommended, the following materials and processes are tolerated:

• Fish based fining agents (Isinglass)
• Non-hydrolysed bone gelatine
• Bentonite
• Kaolin
• Pure casein, guaranteed free of residue
• Diatomaceous earth
• Fresh egg whites (from certified organic sources if available)
• Cellulose plate filters
• Centrifugation
• Sterile filtration with membrane filters
• Cross-flow filtration

Storage and Transportation Vessels

Barrels and tanks made from wood or stainless steel are recommended. Inert gas to fill unused space in barrels or tanks. Plastic tanks or barrels are tolerated if they meet all provincial and Federal standards for the intended use. Food grade silicon bungs are tolerated for sealing wood barrels.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is introducing a new label for organic wines sold across Canada. It will carry a logo of a maple leaf rising from behind a field with the words biologique Canada organic . Wines that are only sold in their own province will not require the new label.

"we are stewards of the land and our relationships with them; people rely on us for their livelihoods and trust us to keep them safe; we must reduce our production of carbon; and conserve the use of water, preserving the integrity of our watersheds "-Tinhorn Creek Estate Winery


L’Acadie Vineyards ~ Nova Scotia

has been certified organic since inception. They were the first vineyard and winery in Nova Scotia to be certified organic and are leaders in encouraging others to grow organically. All of their wines are made with 100% Nova Scotia grapes.

Certified organic wines follow the age-old traditions and natural means of growing grapes and making wine. The organic approach is to encourage a healthy soil and be proactive in its management. Wines have a clear expression of terroir, a sense of place. Beneath the rows of grape vines the soil is a living organism with composted manure applications, mulching, compost teas and seaweed extracts added to ensure soil enrichment and maintain healthy microbiological life and earthworm populations. No pesticides, fungicides or chemical fertilizers are required in an organic vineyard which ensures that, through our stewardship, it will be healthy and bountiful for our future winemaking generations.

Records and practices of our vineyard and winery are regularly inspected by a third party accredited organic organization to ensure we comply with the Canadian Organic Standards. All of our certified organic wines proudly bear the Canadian Organic logo, a rising maple leaf image, controlled by the Canada Food Inspection Agency


Certified Organic Wineries by Canadian Organic Trade Association 2017

Blind Tiger - 11014 Bond Road, Lake Country, BC.

Beaufort Vineyard & Estate Winery -5854 Pickering Rd, Courtenay, BC

Kalala Organic Vineyards Ltd. - 3361 Glencoe Rd, West Kelowna, BC

Rollingdale Vineyard and Winery - 2306 Hayman Rd, West Kelowna, BC

Rustic Roots Winery   - BC-3, Cawston, BC V0X 1C0, Canada

Sea Cider FArm and Cider House -2487 Mt St Michael Rd, Saanichton, BC

Summerhill Pyramid Winery -4870 Chute Lake Rd, Kelowna, BC

Twisted Hills Craft Cider - 2080 Ritchie Dr, Cawston, BC

Birds and Bees Organic Winery and Meadery  - Brosseau, AB

 L’Acadie Vineyards - 310 Slayter Road, Gaspereau RR#1, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

Frogpond Farm Winery -1385 Larkin Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Kews Vineyard - 4696 King St, Beamsville, ON

Southbrook Vineyards - 581 Niagara Stone Rd, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Tawse Family Vineyards  - 3955 Cherry Avenue, PO Box 822, Vineland, Ontario

Domaine de Cavel (Les Distributions De Cam inc.)  - 1074 Chemin de la Montagne, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC

Domaine de la Côte Mont Rigaud Inc -1074 Chemin de la Montagne, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC

Domaine des Météores - 03, chemin du Lac-Grosleau, Ripon, QC

Domaine des 3 Fûts -  980 Rang Watkins, Drummondville, QC

Explorage inc. (Clos Saragnat)  100 Richford Road, Frelighsburg, QC

Ferme Apicole Desrochers D. inc. -113 Rang 2 de Gravel, Ferme-Neuve, QC 

Le Domaine Bergeville  - 1030 Chemin Sherbrooke, Hatley, QC 

Le Vignoble Pigeon Hill  - 395 Chemin des Érables, Saint-Armand, QC

Les Vergers Lafrance   - 1473 Chemin Principal, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, QC

Verger Biologique Maniadakis - 1150 Route 209, Hinchinbrooke, QC

Vignoble des Négondos  - 7100 Rang Saint Vincent, Mirabel, QC

Vignoble les Pervenches  - 150 Chemin Boulais, Farnham, QC

Vignoble Saint-Gabriel -2190 Rang Saint David, Saint-Gabriel-de-Brandon, QC

Organic Wineries in Canada ( wineries not listed above certified through other organizations)

Hainle Estate Winery 18-acre Vine Yard and Winery in Peachland has been B.C's first Certified organic Winery since 1988. From the 1993 vintage, the following wines, for the first time in British Columbia, bear the COABC decal, identifying both the grapes and winemaking as certified organic: Traminer, Riesling, Bibendum White, Bibendum Rosé, Icewine. As of 2002 we added 28 acres of vineyards which have been organically managed as well. As of 2008 we have joined PACS and are now international certified organic.

Covert Farms and Winery All of their wines are made with 100% Estate grown certified organic grapes since 2009.  They have been applying organic standards in the winery since 2011 to determine feasibility of certifying the winery as well

Summerhill Estate BC's Okanagan has certified organic grapes.  Some of their wines say "Made with Certified Organic Grapes". Summerhill became a certified organic winery in November 2007 so all 2007 vintage wines will be 100% certified organic! They are certified biodynamic

Rollingdale Winery located in the Lakeview Heights of Kelowna is a Certified organic winery. Winemakers Steve Dale's philosophy: Organic grapes taste best!  Preserve the fruit. Rollingdale was the first Okanagan winery to win organic certification.

Forbidden Fruit Winery has been operating as an organic farm since 1977. All wines made with using 100% Certified Organic Similkameen Valley fruit.

Deep Creek Wine Estate & Hainle Vineyards is located in the sunny Okanagan wine region of British Columbia practices organic farming but according to Certified Organic Associations of BC they are not as yet certified

Sage Hill Vineyard was created in 2006 by Rick and Leah Thrussell. They bought the 11-acre Dickinson Farm in Summerland With a strong belief in the preservation of the environment and a home situated in the middle of the vineyard, the Thrussell family wanted to avoid using herbicides or pesticides that could adversely affect the land, themselves or their neighbours

Frogpond Farm claims to be the only certified winery in Ontario. Certified by OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada to comply with the OC/Pro Organic Standard and the Canadian Organic Standards.

L'Acadie Vineyards Nova Scotia top producer traditional method sparkling wine certified since 2006.

Southbrook Vineyards Canada's first biodynamic winery certified by Demeter since 2008' They operate their whole farm on 150 acres in Niagara on the Lake, on using biodynamic meathods. Rather than dabble in a few biodynamic practices, we have committed ourselves to the full certification process. We have gone to unprecedented lengths in the Canadian wine industry to demonstrate to the undecided that biodynamics can be successful in our cool climate. Our team is led by Winemaker Ann Sperling who has organized important initiatives to promote awareness among all interested wineries in the area. Her team includes our Vineyard Manager Scott Jones and Associate Winemaker Brian Hamilton. Together, they have carried out additional research and study to expand our understanding of biodynamics.

Soahc Estate Wines Fruitvale, BC Jamie Fochuk spent years educating himself about biodynamic farming and has earned the respect and support of world-renowned viticulture and biodynamic experts. Jamie hired Philippe Armenier is considered to be one of the foremost practitioners of biodynamic farming in the world. Dissatisfied with the results of decades of chemical farming on his family’s wine estate, which had robbed the soil of its life, Philippe looked for alternatives. Philippe converted his vineyards, Domaine de Marcoux in Chateauneuf du Pape to Biodynamic® practices beginning in the late 1980’s. The results were obvious in the vineyard, where the soils sprung to life, as well as in the winery. The estate and the wines it produces has since risen dramatically in stature. Philippe has been invaluable in directing Jamie on biodynamic techniques to use in his vineyard.

Okanagan Crush Pad has achieved certification under the Pacific Agricultural Certification Society (PACS) program, making it one of a handful of BC wineries to do so. The winery certification means that they can now officially label our wines organic.

Rustic Roots 5 Generations of Organic Farming

Sea Cider Farm and Cider House is certified organic by Pacific Agricultural Certification Society Vernon BC

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has developed a new label for organic wines that will appear on bottles that cross provincial or international borders.

The logo - a maple leaf rising behind a field with the words "biologique Canada organic" - will be phased in until Dec. 14, 2008, when it becomes mandatory, said agency spokesman Marc Richard. Wines sold within their own province won't require it.

In December 2006 the Canadian government published the Organic Products Regulation to regulate organic certification in Canada for organic products. Details on this new regulation are available on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Canadian Organic Office website. The new regulation was implemented on June 30, 2009

Please see OCPP/Pro-Cert Canada Inc, Organic Certification Bodies


Demeter International is the largest certification organization for biodynamic agriculture, and is one of three predominant organic certifiers. Demeter Biodynamic Certification is used in over 50 countries to verify that biodynamic products meet international standards in production and processing. The Demeter certification program was established in 1928, and as such was the first ecological label for organically produced foods.

Demeter's "biodynamic" certification requires biodiversity and ecosystem preservation, soil husbandry, livestock integration (this requirement is exempt In biodynamic vineyards), prohibition of genetically engineered organisms and viewing the farm as a living "holistic organism". The certification verifies the fulfillment of the standards on behalf of the farmers, which in turn guaranties high quality food products to the consumers

The Demeter certified wineries in Canada are:
Pyramid wineries in BC
Tawse winery in ON
Southbrook winery in ON
Lightfoot and Wolfville winery in NS.

Stratus Vineyards

Stratus is committed to responsible stewardship of the land. As a result, the winery is the first building in Canada to achieve LEEDTM (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Stratus was the first winery worldwide to fully achieve this designation. Environmental sustainability is a core value of all involved in the design and operation of Stratus


Certified Organic in the Similkameen includes 

Forbidden Fruit Winery
Robin Ridge Winery
Liber Farm & Winery
Rustic Roots Winery

Twisted Hills Craft Cider

Little Farm Winery. 

Clos du Soleil Winery

Untangled Craft Cider 

Hugging Tree Winery


Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network

Pro cert Organics

Pacific Agricultural Certification Society


Kosher Wines ~ Fortified Wines


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