Earlier today, Decanter.com reported that “Pontet Canet in Pauillac, and Chateau Guiraud in Sauternes, have achieved full Agence Bio (AB) organic certification – Pontet Canet for its 2010 vintage and Guiraud from 2011,” making them the first estates included in the 1855 classification to do so.
This is an important milestone in the wine industry’s seemingly inexorable march in the direction many consumers feel it should have been heading for a long time. After all, as wine is perhaps the greatest tool for clearly and accurately expressing the nature of a particular plot of land, it only seems logical that more and more producers would work to place as little as possible between the earth and their wine, and to show the greatest level of respect that they can for the source of their livelihood.
Aubert de Villaine, of the legendary Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (which was organic by 1986 and is now biodynamic), was quoted in the May 31, 2010, issue of the Wine Spectator as saying that “We don't try to make better wine than the grapes we have...This is our philosophy, and I think it's a good one for Burgundy, because the talent isn't with the winemaker, it is in the climat.”
The same could be said for notable terroirs all over the world. (Though you can't lose sight of the importance of a great winemaker.) This recent development with two classed growths in Bordeaux simply demonstrates, again, that the trend toward more earth-friendly winemaking continues its march.