These days, tastes are changing and many of us are becoming more concerned with how the food we eat is made and where it comes from. Likewise, modern consumers are far more concerned about the health of the planet, questioning the use of chemicals in the growing of their food. The same trends can be seen in the world of wine and this can be seen in the growth in popularity of organic wine. Although there are different standards around the world, organic wines tend to be characterised by those that do not use artificial fungicides, fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides.
Organic wine and preservatives
One of the current debates around organic wine is the use of preservatives. Wine making can broadly be divided into two stages, with the first being the growing of the grapes and the second being the process that happens after the grapes are harvested. In the first stage, the definition of organic wine as one where the grapes are grown without using chemicals is reasonably straightforward. In the second stage, the common use of sulphur dioxide as a preservative is one that divides the world of organic wine. Sulphur dioxide allows the wine to age without deteriorating and currently there is no effective organic preservative to replace it. Many organic wine makers are making wine without any preservatives but these tend to be made for drinking without ageing.
Terroir and organic wine
Conventionally made wine uses chemicals in the growing of the grapes to prevent diseases and boost yields. These chemicals are absorbed by the root systems and make their way into the fruits. Residues of the chemicals can therefore be transferred into the finished wine. For some wine lovers, these chemicals can actually mask the characteristics of the soil and environment, or terroir that gives each wine its unique, local flavour and character. For others, of course, use of such chemicals simply means protecting the grapes and hence the wine itself.
Understanding organic wine
There is no doubt that organic wine is growing in popularity and it is also growing in terms of quality and sophistication. The Gilbert & Gaillard wine guide, can guide you through the complexities of this growing wine classification and help you to buy organic wines that will match your tastes. With the rising volume of organic wine being produced, there are so many new wines to explore and get to know and the guide includes some of the best examples available.