The NSW Manifesto
The idea is simple enough: If our wine producers care enough to craft certified Biodynamic wines made from organic grapes and if our customers care enough to support and select organic wines; why should we stop at merely providing an organic wines ? Why not adopt environmentally sustainable business practices as well ?
After more than a decade in the wine distribution and importing trade, followed by a year sabbatical spent circumnavigating the globe, witnessing first-hand the devastating effects of poverty, environmental degradation and global warming, we asked ourselves this simple question: Can we be successful in the wine trade and still remain true to a green, ecologically sustainable movement ?
Ergo Natural Selection Wines, the first sustainable, carbon balanced fine wine agency of only certified Biodynamic wines in the US. In effect, we aim to offset the carbon generated during shipping, delivery and in our offices (which is wind powered). In order to meet this goal, we have partnered with Terra Pass and Con Ed Solutions.
Also, in a further effort to reduce our impact on the environment, all our office paper is 100% recycled paper..
We only represent certified Biodynamic wines (Demeter, Biodyvins). Certification guarantees that the wines were produced from organically grown grapes without chemical fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides or pesticides, and with no genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It also means that the vineyards have been free from such chemicals for a number of years to eliminate residue from past use. The idea is to achieve a natural, sustainable balance in the soil, using natural fertilizers, sowing cover crops between the vines to promote biodiversity and employing natural pest-control techniques.
Conversion to organic farming can be more expensive than conventional production. Yields tend to be lower (although this benefits the wine) and the work is more labor intensive. The grape-grower is also required to maintain detailed written production and sales records intended to assure quality and prevent fraud.
On the subject of Sulfites, we should mention that every bottle of wine contains sulfites in varying amounts. Sulfites act as a preservative and have actually been added to wine for centuries. Without sulfites, wines would be extremely fragile, more difficult to age and almost impossible to ship overseas. Having said that, we believe that only minimal amounts of sulfites should be used since it can change the character of a wine. In general, organic wine-makers use far less sulfites than conventional producers because their wines do not need as much.
But the main reason to be organic is the preservation of the soils. Organic soils do produce richer, more natural (and yes, usually better tasting) wines which are a more accurate reflection of their place of origin. Unfortunately, grape-growing is perhaps the biggest consumer of chemicals in agriculture. It is alarming that up to 240 different chemicals have been found in a non-organic wine and these must have a long term effect on our health.
Although it may seem like a modern idea, grapes have grown without the help of chemicals for perhaps 7000 years, so "organic" grape-growing is not a new concept or a marketing tool. Our goal is actually to offer a truly traditional, artisanal, natural wines in the most modern and up to date package possible at the best price possible. The use of synthetic chemicals - largely petroleum based - in agriculture and viticulture in particular, destroys the beneficial microbiotic organisms in the soil. Once the microbiotic activity in the soil has died, the soil becomes merely an anchor for grape vines.
But why stop there? Natural Selection is also sponsoring tree planting in New York as well as supporting, in partnership with Chateau Maris, the Rain Forest Foundation, the Iternational Polar Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Additionally, and in order to make organic wines more attractive to consumers, we endeavor to reduce all costs to the bare minimum. One way is to eliminate as many middlemen as possible. The end result is that we are able to offer a superior product at a much better value than our conventional counterparts.
Consequently, when you purchase any of our wines, you will get really great tasting wines that were produced and brought to you with minimal environmental impact, at the best price possible in the most ethical way possible and that are good for you.
Better for the Earth, Better for the Wine, Better for you
The Natural Selection Wines Team