Organic wines are defined differently in each nation. Still, they are virtually usually controlled by a third-party certification organisation that confirms the grapes used in the wine’s production are 100 per cent organically cultivated and free of chemical usage. According to the National Organic Program (NOP), organic wines are “wines created from organically farmed grapes without any added sulphites.” The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is responsible for the safety, traceability, and authenticity of the UK’s wine sector products. Wines referred to as “organic” was created from organic grapes” due to this limitation. On the other hand, the European Union has determined that organic wine may include sulphites.
Pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilisers are not used in the vineyards’ management. Vineyards are still sprayed but with non-harmful natural agents. Weeds are controlled naturally by ploughing, hoeing, mulching, or mowing, and fertilisation is accomplished using compost mulches, green manures, or animal manures. Organic wines must have less than 100-120 mg/L of sulphur dioxide, a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation, at the winery.
Biodynamic wines go a step further, integrating organic and sustainable farming ideals while studying the earth’s rhythms and forces, the seasons’ cycle, and moon activity. Rudolf Steiner, who preached green long before organic wines existed, created it in the 1920s. His “anthroposophy” ideology calls for the annual application of homoeopathic medicines made from animal and mineral ingredients such as dandelion blossoms, stinging nettles, and “horn dung” to cure and heal the land ritually. The Demeter Biodynamic Trade Association regulates the highly contentious activities on a global scale. There are roughly 450 accredited Biodynamic wine producers worldwide.
Why the high demand for these types of wines?
A tiny fraction of the UK’s population, believed to be 0.8 per cent, is highly allergic to sulphites. Others may have limited tolerance for sulphites and be classified as sulphite-sensitive, causing some “wine headaches.” Many people choose white wine because they believe red wines contain higher sulphites, but actually, white wines have more than reds.
So, for people who have an adverse response to sulphites, “organic wines” are an excellent alternative. Fortunately, only tiny levels of naturally occurring sulphites have been added, which will, in most instances, fall below their threshold level.
What’s all the commotion about sulphites?
Sulphite is a naturally occurring residue of wine fermentation.
Sulphites are present in everyday foods such as canned tuna, pizza dough, jams, gelatine, trail mix, cheese, deli meat, and prescription medicines.
Wine is one of the few items that states on the label, “contains sulphites.”
Even though studies suggest that fewer than half of the population is allergic to sulphites, people may have severe responses when exposed.
Eco-friendly and Sustainable Wines
Sustainable wines support the environment to continue producing high-quality products for future generations. The movement considers issues such as soil depletion, erosion, water pollution, biodiversity loss, ecological consequences, insect resistance, and chemical reliance. It may employ artificial or natural materials in the vineyard, and it will almost certainly involve integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. However, minimal-additive winemaking principles will always be present at the winery.