Eight Things to Know About Organic Wine

From the Organic Wine Journal via the Huffington Post, Adam Morganstern offers eight secrets about organic wine–wine that is made from grapes grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. 

1. Nothing’s missing.
It’s got alcohol, just like other wine, and it’s made the same way wine is made–sans chemical residues.

2. The government owns the word “organic.”
Standards are decided by each country’s central government so the definition of organic can vary around the world.

3. Wines in the U.S. are certified two ways: Organic and Made From Organic Grapes.
The difference is sulfites, which are used to keep wine from oxidizing. If a wine is labeled organic, it has no added sulfites.

4. Many organic winemakers don’t advertise.
It’s not part of their marketing strategy; they’d rather be known for their wines than their methods.

5. Organic wines are great.
While growing organic produce has become a trend, many wineries follow organic methods simply because they think they lead to producing the best fruit.

6. Organic wines are terrible.
Just like conventional wines, quality is based on the grapes, vineyards, and winemakers, so there are good organic wines and there are bad ones.

7. Vineyard practices are different than winery practices.
While they grapes may be organic, the vintner can alter and add to the wine by adding oak chips, for example, or using packaged yeasts. None of this affects their organic status. However, most organic winemakers practice minimal intervention.

8. Sustainable doesn’t mean organic.
The definition of sustainable varies, from reducing waste to using green energy to eliminating chemicals. If sustainable practices are important to you, check out the wineries individually to see what they do.


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