Good Fruit Grower

May 1

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wines called Pure Red and Pure White in three-liter boxes for $22. At those price points, he says, they can't pay the same for grapes as they can for grapes going into wine that sells for ultrapremium prices. The organic wine drinker is not an elite wine drinker, Bill said. "The core organic wine drinkers are young women, and they can't afford to pay premium prices. Regardless of whether it's organic or not, the wine has to be good," he said, adding that if it doesn't sell, he doesn't consider it good wine. For a time, they produced organic, NSA Syrah, but like most conventional Syrah wines, sales have been declining or stag- nant, with inventories backed up. How- ever, Syrah is a component in their Pure Red boxed wine, which is selling like hot- cakes, Greg said. They plan to soon release a new Syrah-based wine blend called Spectrum. Their wines are distributed the mar- kets throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and parts of Europe. • Greg Powers holds their new wine called Monde eau, French for "water world." A portion of the white wine sales will be donated to the philanthropic Charity Water, a nonprofit organization that builds water and water sanitation projects in third-world countries. barrels for 12 to 14 months, something not possible for the organic red wines bottled under the Badger Mountain label. No claims about organic grapes or winemaking are made on the Powers label, which gives Greg the freedom to source grapes from throughout the state and use mainstream winemaking techniques to showcase the character of the wines. "We may have organically grown grapes in the Powers label wines, but we don't make any label claims," Greg said. "That way we don't have to change the label from year to year." Organic competition Sourcing organic grapes outside their estate vineyard is not easy, said Greg. They have four growers under contract to pro- duce organic grapes for them. "We have to go out and find organic growers. The growers need attractive pricing to make it worth the hassle of being organic, but we can't pay any more for organic than we do for conventional grapes. "It really becomes a frame of mind and a philosophical reason for being organic," he said. He points out that their organic wines must compete in the market with main- stream, conventional wines as well as wines being marketed for their environ- mentally kind footprint. Sustainable vine- yard practices are touted on a multitude of wine labels, promoting programs like Salmon Safe, LIVE (Low Input Viticulture and Enology), Lodi RULES, and others. Greg makes four Badger Mountain NSA organic wines—Chardonnay, Ries- ling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot— which all retail for under $20 for a 750-ml bottle. Additionally, they sell organic GOOD FRUIT GROWER MAY 1, 2012 33

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