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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Monty Waldin

In Australia Ron Laughton has announced plans to put his 45-acre Jasper Hill Vineyard at Heathcote in Victoria's Great Dividing Range, under biodynamic certification. Since we started farming here in 1975, our purist grape-growing and winemaking philosophy has been to produce the best wine we can, without making any fanfare of organics or biodynamics,' said Laughton. But we are now acknowledging that we may need to establish our credentials - especially for export markets - by being certified.' The certification process has begun for all of the vineyards, including a 20-acre joint venture with Maison Chapoutier, France's biggest certified biodynamic producer. Laughton is angered by the need to prove his status however. I don't understand how others can indiscriminately use agro-chemicals and not require any certification; yet I'm being pressurised into being certified to be "clean"! It's all topsy-turvy. It should work the other way, with the dirty guys being certified to poison our environment.' Jasper Hill wines - Emily's Paddock Shiraz and Georgia's Paddock Riesling and Shiraz - are imported by Yapp Brothers.