Wine from rich nature

Wine from rich nature

Schefer family

In 1980 Karl and Astrid Schefer had a vision. They wanted to breathe new life into Europe's most stark vineyards caused by chemical spraying, and the plant and animal world should regain a foothold. The aim was to create high-quality wines in harmony with nature.

In 1982, seven charismatic personalities met in Speicher in Appenzell and created the first Delinat guidelines, which came into force in 1983. Since then, the guidelines have been continuously developed and adapted to the latest ecological and oenological findings. A charter for vineyards with high biodiversity and the Delinat guidelines form the basis for this incomparable way of viticulture. In the meantime, 3,500 hectares of vineyards in Europe are certified according to the Delinat guidelines. Not only grapes grow on these areas, but also flowers, grasses, herbs, fruit and vegetables, and they provide a home for birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles and many other creatures. This diversity guarantees high-quality wines at all levels.

The guidelines are structured according to the 3-step principle. Even the first stage goes far beyond the Swiss Organic Farming Ordinance and encourages winegrowers to reach the second and finally the third stage. The guidelines support the winegrowers in managing their vineyards in a climate-neutral way and ensuring a high level of biodiversity within the vineyards. However, Delinat does not only attach importance to biodiversity: the requirements are also significantly higher regarding species protection, structural diversity, plant protection, vinification and the use of renewable energies. Due to these strict requirements, Delinat is today - 40 years later - considered an organic pioneer for high-quality wines from an intact nature. The wines are produced in Europe by over 100 Delinat winegrowers, according to the demanding guidelines.

Since 1998, bio.inspecta, as an independent inspection body, has been inspecting and certifying compliance with the Delinat guidelines on site at winegrowers and wine cellars in 8 countries. The inspection mandate includes almost 100 operations that are inspected throughout Europe. The wineries can be found in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Portugal, Spain and Greece. Our colleague Heike Renner has been working as product manager for years, compiling the control program of the Delinat 3-step model in five languages. Together with Daniel Wyss (Delinat Environmental Officer), she trains employees of EU partner inspection bodies and bio.inspecta auditors in annual training courses to ensure the high Delinat inspection requirements are met. 

To ensure the quality of the controls, they always follow the same scheme: After a short meeting in the company building, a first document check is carried out, which allows an insight into the company. For a detailed verification of the information, the vineyards and wine cellars are checked. Finally, open questions are clarified in a further document control, the inspection protocol is filled out and signed by both parties. This annual Delinat inspection takes place in addition to the statutory organic inspection. According to the principle of dual control, the control dossier is then verified again and certified upon completion.

An exciting and informative report about a Delinat inspection accompanied by our inspector Philipp Seitz can be found in the Delinat WeinLese 58.

The Delinat seal of approval has already been awarded several times as the best and most credible organic label. You can find more information here.

© Photos: Delinat