Diving deep into organic wine, how it is made and the many benefits you might not be aware of.
A classic and versatile drink, wine is a staple of dining culture around the world. Many wine-lovers consider themselves fine connoisseurs, searching out the most obscure and refined wines for their collections.
But many more are casual admirers of the tradition, simply enjoying their wine on relaxing evenings or special occasions. Whatever your inclination, the varied perspectives and approaches to wine and wine drinking is an indication of its impressive popularity among a broad range of people.
However, the wine industry is not without its controversy. As a widely used drink that produces a considerable stock of products every year, it is disturbing to learn that there is a hefty environmental price we pay for this delicious treat.
This is where organic wine producers have stepped up to lead the industry into a greener future. Focusing on sustainable practices and initiatives, organic wine is the perfect option for vintners and oenophiles who want to reduce their environmental impact.
The way organic wine is classified differs from region to region. Some areas use lighter regulations while others may be stricter, but the label ‘organic wine’ is usually a protected term regardless of your location.
Generally speaking, there are two main aspects of wine production that sustainable producers adjust. On the agricultural side, vineyards are required to reduce or eliminate their dependency on artificial fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. On the processing side, vintners are expected to reduce or eliminate their use of unessential preservatives and processing methods.
Organic wines are much better for the environment and dramatically reduce pollution through chemical leaching.
If you are familiar with organic agriculture, you will already have a fair understanding of organic vineyards.
These plantations abstain from harsh synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Instead, they utilize more environmentally friendly aids, such as compounds like tree oils or extracts that have natural pesticidal effects. Additionally, other ingredients used in organic wine production need to come from organic sources. For example, yeast and additives need to come from an organic source as well.
There is, however, a fine distinction in the wine world regarding the label ‘organic’ being applied to wine made from organically grown grapes. Some may consider these wines organic, but most consider the true line to be drawn in the processing phase of production.
An important part of organic wine is its naturalness. Vintners who produce organic wine typically try to reduce the chemicals and additives they include in the wine production process. Traditional vintners use a variety of compounds to enhance the flavor and lifespan of their wines.
One of these compounds is sulfur dioxide, which helps stabilize their wine and lengthen its shelf life. This gives the wine the ability to age for a longer period of time, which impacts the taste and feel of the wine upon consumption. However, organic wine producers opt to eliminate or dramatically reduce their use of sulfur dioxide.
This allows their wine to take on a more natural and unprocessed flavor while reducing unessential chemicals from production.
It is important to note that organic wines still contain sulfites, as they are a natural part of the fermentation process. They simply do not add additional sulfites during the production process. Organic wine can still last a number of years on the shelf and develop a full and delectable flavor, but it is understood that its shelf life is lower than traditionally produced wine.
There are several benefits to supporting organic wine over traditionally made wine. In the most pressing issue at hand, organic wines are much better for the environment and dramatically reduce pollution through chemical leaching.
As they use more natural chemicals in their vineyards, when chemicals inevitably disperse through the local environment, it does not harm the natural ecological balance of the area. Organic farming also reduces the risk of encouraging pesticide and herbicide-resistant organisms.
However, organic wine also presents potential benefits to human health. Aside from sulfites, organic wine producers also reduce the input of various other chemicals and additives. This allows their wines to embody a natural flavor and prevents consumers from falling victim to the influence of yet unknown risks from a variety of artificial chemicals.
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