Organic wine may seem like a new thing, but it is quickly becoming a standard for many people who enjoy wine and wine tasting.
Essentially, organic wine is wine that has been grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. The use of organic wine has steadily increased as well. In 2009, the consumption of organic wine grew by 3.7 per cent alone, and it has continued to grow and outpace the growth of the consumption of non-organic wine since then. It is estimated that there are currently, 1,500 to 2,000 organic wine producers throughout the world, with nearly 1,000 located in France alone.
In conventional wine growing, chemical fertilizers are used in order to promote a larger yield and protect from disease, but the problem is that these chemicals are then absorbed into the sap, and passed into the leaves and the fruit. Eventually, these chemicals make their way into the finished wine itself. The chemicals also damage soil and water quality, so many wine growers are looking to go organic. Many people do not even realize that many wine growers actually use hazmat suits and breathing apparatuses when spraying the vines, and we are putting that into our bodies.
In the United States, there are very strict rules in place for the growing of organic wine, covering all aspects of the growing, harvesting and production. Even the types of yeast, the storage conditions and more are all considered with organic wine.
In the United States, to receive organic certification on wine, there must be suffite levels of less than 20 parts per million.
In the United States as well, the National Organic Program handles the certification of organic wine, through the United States Department of Agriculture. Many different nations are also using certifications of organic, through government agencies.
It should also be noted that many wineries are organic without the certification, because they have always grown organically through their history.
There are also natural wines that only use native yeasts in the fermentation process and no sulphur dioxide. Roughly 10 per cent of all organic wine in the United States is natural wine.
Written by: Yehudith Girshberg