Demeter Association, Inc. is the body authorised by Demeter International to carry out biodynamic certification to the Demeter International standard in the United States of America.
There are three categories: one for wine-growing (the raw material, the grapes) and two for winemaking (fermenting them into wine) meaning wines are classified either as ‘Biodynamic Wine’ or ‘Made with Biodynamic Grapes.’ Both categories must be made with Biodynamic Wine Grapes, as follows*:
1) Biodynamic® wine grapes: This covers the production of the grapes which would be classed as Demeter USA-certified. It does not cover any wine made from them. For this, the grapes must be fermented and aged into wine following the Demeter USA Wine Processing Standard which has two labelling categories: “Biodynamic® Wine”, the most rigorous category allowing the least manipulation, and “Made with Biodynamic® grapes“, as described in more detail below.
2) Wine made with Biodynamic® Grapes: The Made with Biodynamic® Grapes category denotes a wine that is made with 100 per cent Demeter USA-certified Biodynamic wine grapes and conforms to the Demeter Wine Processing Standard. This permits manipulations of the grapes as defined by the United States’ federal National Organic Program (NOP) for its ‘Made with Organic grapes’ category. Thus the wines may contain up to 100ppm sulfites. The grapes can come from more than one Demeter-certified vineyard. The wines must be made in a Demeter-certified Biodynamic winery. The “Made with Biodynamic® grapes” category also permits limited sugar and acidity adjustments and a possible variance allowing the addition of a neutral yeast strain in cases of a documented stuck fermentation.
2) Biodynamic® Wine: Biodynamic® Wine denotes a 100% estate-grown wine made from 100 per cent Demeter-certified biodynamic grapes from one estate vineyard. The wine must be made to the Demeter Wine Processing Standard. It must be fermented with native yeasts, and may contain up to 100ppm sulfites. No other additives are permitted. The wines must be made in a Demeter-certified Biodynamic winery.
Note: Biodynamic® and Biodynamics® are registered trademarks in the USA of the Demeter Association, Inc. The first time Biodynamic® is used in an article it is written thus: Biodynamic®. From then on it can be written Biodynamic.
* In 2009 both the above categories permitted the use of sulfites (up to 100ppm for dry wines and 150ppm for dessert wines), approved yeast nutrients, Bentonite for protein stabilization, and Biodynamic or organic egg whites for tannin fining. Both categories prohibited the addition of outside aromatic yeast, malo-lactic bacteria, enzymes and tannins. Source: Elizabeth Candelario, ‘Biodynamic® Agriculture • Wine FAQ’, with Elizabeth Candelario of Demeter USA, Sept 2009.