Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Public Policy Leadership

First Advisor

David Rutherford

Relational Format



Organic winemaking is a very high value adding activity for the economy, but the industry has seen different levels of growth throughout the world. It is unclear whether organic winemaking is a viable long-term activity in prominent winemaking regions. This thesis looks at the regulations dealing with organic winemaking and attitudes towards organic wine in four major wine producing areas in the world: the United States, Italy, Argentina, and New Zealand. This thesis uses an extensive literature review of existing studies and papers dealing with organic wine, as well as government regulations and private standards to determine the current practices and attitudes in each of the four regions. Overall, the United States has the most developed and effective regulations for the organic winemaking industry, followed by Italy and Argentina. Argentina's organic winemaking regulations are the easiest to understand and follow, followed by the United States and Italy. New Zealand does not have a national organic standard, which makes this region more difficult to assess under these two evaluations. The attitudes towards organic wine are most positive in New Zealand. Attitudes are positive in the United States and Italy, but consumers care more about quality than the label or processes associated with organic wine. Despite differences in regulations and attitudes, there is potential for increased growth in organic winemaking in each of the four regions if they adapt to fit the producers and consumers needs.

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