You’ve read the labels when pursuing the selection at your favorite shops. Organic wine brands have increased in popularity in recent years – but so has confusion. What exactly does organic mean when it comes to our favorite refreshing indulgence?
Fruit of the Vine
The simplest definition is that these varietals are produced from organically grown grapes. And this means…? Well, instead of using chemicals and synthetic herbicides and pesticides, growers use a variety of techniques inspired by nature. For example, they may plant cover crops (particularly legumes) to provide pest-eating insects a habitat and use natural fertilizers.
Other winemakers take it a step further and commit themselves to biodiversity; their vineyards become an ecosystem that is able to sustain itself. This helps prevent problems such as soil degradation, contamination, and pollution without the need for invasive agricultural techniques.
Now, what does organic not mean when it comes to wine? It does not mean that ingredients are not added. Always check your labels or inquire with the winemaker if you have special concerns. They may add yeast and egg whites, for example. So organic does not always mean vegan.
In the US and Canada, organic wine brands are not allowed to introduce additional sulfites. However, this is different in other countries, such as Chile. A small amount is added to Natura wines to prevent spoilage and increase shelf life. (Remember, sulfites occur naturally in wines; the US is the only country that requires bottles be labeled and restricts natural sulfite levels.)
When you select exceptional organic wine brands, though, it means that you are choosing healthier, cleaner wines. With the use of organically grown grapes – and without the use of toxic chemicals, the finished product can be much more flavorful and complex. Can you taste the sun that shines on the grapes? The rain that touches their skins? The care that goes into harvesting, pressing, and fermenting? When you take a sip of your favorite Natura wine, it certainly seems that you can!