Do Organic/Biodynamic Wines Score Better?

In our weekly newsletter I shared a study that has been making the rounds everywhere. It apparently shows robust data that organic and biodynamic wines score higher than conventional wines – but sustainable wines score no higher than conventional.

I mentioned that I hadn’t had time to look at the data in depth and wasn’t vouching for it. 

Well, I’m glad I did not! 

Guess what the study used as a proxy for quality – PRICE!!! 

That’s garbage. First of all, because quality =/= price. But even if we think there is a strong relationship between quality and price, organic and biodynamic wines will always have a higher price than a conventional counterpart because organic farming/winemaking itself costs more. (Andrew Chalk says by ~15%). 

Andrew Chalk, who wrote a rebuttal pointing this out, is going to examine the dataset and factor out price. I’ll update once he does so. 

Two quick things: I do think labels like organic, biodynamic, or sustainable are absolutely needed in BC to justify our unavoidable higher prices. Intuitively I think this leads to higher quality wine but I won’t make the data fit my assumptions. 

Second, headlines (and studies) suck. It’s marketing, not truth. That’s why I won’t trust anything unless I’ve had a chance to read a study in depth. 


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