The Great Oregon Wine Co & Distillery announces today that their Duck Pond Cellars are the first to receive a new wine certification from third party organization, the Clean Label Project™. To set specific standards that define natural winemaking, which has exploded in popularity in recent years, but is not government regulated, Clean Label Project™ has launched two different seals for vintners to consider: Certified Natural and Certified Natural Path Production.
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Clean Label Project Natural Path Certified (Graphic: Business Wire)
“Our Duck Pond team is thoughtful about bringing this unique region and Oregon culture to our consumers. We strive to craft pure wines and we are transparent about how they’re made. When Clean Label Project and the Sustainable Sommelier Brett Zimmerman came to us with the concept for a Natural Wine certification we thought it could be a good way to promote our values and hold ourselves to a higher standard,” said CEO Ari Jude Walker. “CLP sets the bar really high. We’re glad to be included in the program because making wine this way comports so well with our values of purity, transparency and leaving the world in a better place than we found it.” A new wine label, reflecting the land’s natural elements, will appear on the 2020 Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rose and Pinot Noir Reserve vintages and the 2021 Chardonnay.
Founded in 1993, the Willamette Valley, Oregon-based Duck Pond vineyards embody and reflect a true commitment to sustainable and organic farming. Duck Pond became aware of Clean Label Project™ for several years and in April of 2020 Duck Pond received the Purity Award, an accolade which stretches across multiple categories and evaluates products for substances that would never be found on a product label. These include certain chemicals, industrial and environmental toxins, and contaminants that have the long-term potential to adversely affect health and well-being.
“It is our mission to provide information about products that might otherwise not show up on the label,” said Jackie Bowen, executive director of Clean Label Project™. “Due to growing consumer demand for transparency and proper labeling in not only food but wine, we felt it critical to bring this vital information to the forefront. Industry and regulatory change often come when people are given the facts,” said Bowen.
The seals provide critical information to consumers about what it means to be a ‘natural’ wine. This includes such things as how the grapes were grown and cultivated in addition to how the wine was produced, be it with or without the use of traditional winemaking or more industrial approaches. In an effort to set specific standards that define natural winemaking, two seals have been created: the top-tier “Certified Natural” and the second-tier “Certified Natural Path Production.” Certified Natural aligns with what mother nature intended – capturing traditional natural wine best practices including but not limited to the exclusive use of organic grapes, indigenous yeasts, and minimal additives. Certified Natural Path Production utilizes elements of traditional natural wine production while allowing for some modern wine production techniques including but not limited to the exclusive use of certified organic or glyphosate and neonicotinoid-free grapes, allowance of minimal cultured bacteria, and minimal use of added sulfites to extend shelf-life. The criteria is public and can be found at www.cleanlabelproject.org.
Clean Label Project™ works with Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman, who is a sustainability advocate and retailer in the natural wine space. “Unlike the term organic, which is defined and regulated by government institutions, the word ‘natural’ is more open ended with wine, as compared to the food industry. Without a federal definition for natural wine, consumers don’t have the same level of transparency and must rely on what beverage companies tell them is true. We need to shift our philosophies to preserve our health, the health of our environment, and the rich legacy that is the natural wine industry, which is why I am so proud to work with an organization like Clean Label Project.”
Both Clean Label Project’s ™ wine certifications require compliance to establish grape cultivation and wine production techniques. Unannounced onsite audits, sampling, and testing are required to ensure ongoing compliance to the standard. Clean Label Project’s Natural Wine Certification program is the first voluntary program offered in the US. Duck Pond’s Rose, Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Reserve will be available for purchase through the company’s website and in stores in June. The Pinot Gris will follow in October while the Chardonnay will be released in 2022.
GREAT OREGON WINE COMPANY & DISTILLERY
The Great Oregon Wine Co. & Distillery blends innovation with heritage and best organic practices, to produce wines and spirits that express the region in its purest form. We apply scientific learning and rigorous testing to the ancient model of the farmer-winemaker, carefully cultivating and crafting products that are both delicious and free of contaminants. Our brands, including Duck Pond, Rascal and Ransom, offer wines and spirits full of complexity and are rid of substances including chemicals of concern, industrial and environmental toxins, and contaminants. As of May 2020, Duck Pond winery is certified organic and the wines produced under that label have been awarded “Certified Natural Path” by the third party organization, Clean Label Project. All of The Great Oregon Wine Co & Distillery’s brands offer club memberships and in-person and virtual wine tastings.
CLEAN LABEL PROJECT™
Clean Label Project™ is a national nonprofit with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling. The foundation of food and consumer product safety in America is primarily focused on pathogen and microbiological contaminants. However, there is an increase in consumer, media, and academic attention being paid to the health consequences of exposure to heavy metals, pesticide residues, and plasticizers. Yet, consumers will not find this information on product labels. Clean Label Project is committed to changing the definition of food and consumer safety through the use of data, science, and transparency. We award brands with products that focus on purity and surpass the minimum regulations required by the FDA. At Clean Label Project, we encourage brands to join us in becoming part of the solution to address the growing consumer concern of industrial & environmental contaminants and toxins in both food and consumer products. Visit cleanlabelproject.org for more information.
Media: Mora Neilson, Mora@NeilsonSwiader.com