First Bordeaux Producers Certified Organic
First growth Chateaux Guiraud (Sauterne) and Fifth Growth Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac) were each recognized by France's Agence Bio (AB) as certifiably organic producers, the former beginning with its 2011 vintage and the latter beginning with its 2010 wines.
Depending on the vintage, Guiraud's wines are priced from two to four digits per bottle, with an average across vintages of $45 to $121. With one exception, Pontet-Canet bottle prices have generally been in the triple digits with an average across vintages of $62 to $172.
The two venerable Bordeaux wine producers of the Gironde River area were inducted into the original 1855 Bordeaux classification under different names. In 1766, a merchant named Pierre Guiraud bought La Maison Noble du Bayle, which was the estate's name when it achieved First Growth status for white wine. Originally named Canet, Pontet-Canet was established in the early 18th century by Jean-François de Pontet, royal governor of the Médoc. Canet gained Fifth Growth status for red wine.
Guiraud plans to put the term "organic" on its back label, and the producer has also registered the trademark "BioViticulture" to reflect the Chateaux commitment to biodiversity, carbon footprint reduction, and sustainable viticulture.
Pontet-Canet was certified "Biodyvin" in 2006, which is France's version of the American Demeter certification for the more advanced form of organic grape growing known as biodynamic. In any case, the producer plans no fanfare organic or biodynamic messages or promotional notes on its label.
According to Agence Bio, more than 3,000 French wine estates are certified "organic" out of which two are classified Growths. Only one other First Growth, Chateau Climens (Barsac), is converting to biodynamic viticulture, while approximately 59 other French wine estates are certified "Biodyvin."