Organic wines, until February 2012 did not officially exist in the European Union. It was only “wine made from organically grown grapes”. The rules did not cover wine-making, just organic cultivation techniques. EU regulations on organic farming ban chemical fertilisers, synthetic pesticides and genetically modified organisms. As most of the European organic wines that we sell were produced prior to the February 2012 regulations we will not bore you with those details for now. We will however update this soon.
Organic wine production.
Organic wine production is based on nourishing the soil to maintain its natural characteristics. It is this that produces better grapes and so better tasting wines. Organic wine producers say using fertilisers, pesticides, and fungicides has stripped the land of its natural minerals and weakened the soil: poor soil means poorer grapes. Working the soil to improve it means that organic wine production is more expensive compared to when chemicals are added. Unlike fruit and vegetables, there is no extra mark-up on organic wine to pay for it. With no price advantage, organic and bio-dynamic vineyards are aiming for quality wines to win sales.
Organic wines can still suffer from chemicals such as sulphites and other additives being added in the wine-making process. Some of these chemicals have health issues and can for example affect asthmatics, other additives are derived from animal products so will not satisfy stricter vegetarian and vegan diets.