All about... organic wine

The principals of organic wine are the same as for other organic farming, it's about how the grapes are grown, and then what else is added to the wine.

Organic grapes are grown without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers.
A vineyard that is growing organic grapes is always full of nature - insects and birds, flowers and grass. Non-organic vineyards tend to be barren and quiet, with the exception of the vines themselves. 
 
In general, a large proportion of our everyday food is contaminated with pesticide. Over recent years, levels of pesticide residues in our food have been steadily increasing. Soft fruits, including grapes, are amongst the most heavily sprayed of crops. In a test conducted a couple of years ago over 91% of grapes tested were found to be contaminated. These pesticides stay in the fruit and are part of the wine that is drunk. 
 
There are many additives that winemakers put in their wines for various reasons. Some (like Mega Purple) are very contentious, others are known to be benign. Organic labelling is different around the world, and there are different lists of 'allowed' additives. This is why organic wine doesn't necessarily mean it's vegetarian/vegan wine as well, for instance egg whites or animal enzymes can be added.
 
In the USA an organic wine means there can't be any added sulphur, only what's naturally in there already. But Europe sulphates are allowed as one of the additives. Confusing! Sulphur is used as a preservative, and therefore a lack of them means reduced shelf-life.
 
In conclusion then. drinking organic wine is definitely good for nature, and probably good for your overall health. They are also often delicious, and definitely worth seeking out.

Paul


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