Shinn Estate Vineyard in Mattituck, one of Long Island's smaller family-owned wineries, hopes to have the distinction one day of being the only Island-based grower whose wine is made from certified organically grown grapes.
The Long Island Wine Council's Web site lists 45 growers on the East End. But only Shinn, which started planting in 2000, is undergoing a three-year organic certification process, beginning this month.
"Each year, for three years, our vineyard will be inspected to ensure that we are properly following the organic guidelines," Shinn owners, husband and wife David Page and Barbara Shinn, said in a Web posting.
"Once this process is complete, our wines can be labeled 'produced from organic grapes.' This has never been done before on Long Island."
The 20-acre Shinn farm will be producing about 4,000 cases of wine made from organically grown grapes, Shinn said in an interview.
Shinn and Page are not claiming any superiority over their competitors.
"This is not to reflect on them that we're making better wine," Shinn said. "But this method of farming wine is the cleanest manner possible and the only way David and I believe we can make the best wine possible on our land."
Chemical herbicides or pesticides won't be used.
Inspections are carried out by the nonprofit certifier Demeter USA of Oregon.
LI Wine Council director Steve Bate said certification "is a fairly rigorous process" that not all vineyards are able to go through.
Alice Wise of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County said in an e-mail the majority of growers on Long Island "already use many organic products . . . They choose to not strictly limit their management options to ensure economic viability of the business."