Some wineries are not Organic or Biodynamic but follow sustainable viticulture. One issue with organic viticulture is that only Copper sulphate is allowed in disease protection. Copper sulphate does not readily degrade under normal environmental conditions, though it is highly soluble in water. This makes run-off particularly dangerous, since a concentration of less than 1mg per litre will kill 50 percent of exposed fish within 48 hours. Conversely, copper sulphate is relatively immobile when it enters the soil, binding tightly with both organic matter and clay particles. Therefore, total copper concentration in soils can readily accumulate, especially in older vineyards or those with a high susceptibility to fungal diseases, sometimes attaining quite startling levels.
Sustainability refers to a range of practices that are ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible. Sustainable agriculture’s focus is to minimize environmental impacts. A large majority of sustainable practices are in fact organic but the winery has the flexibility to choose what works best for each individual block of vineyards. Typically, the focus would be on energy and water conservation, natural predators, natural weed control, the use of renewable resources and the reduction of carbon footprint