Legal definitions vary in different countries. A general definition if asked would be to say that organic wine is “wine made from organically grown grapes”.
Organically grown grapes are produced without the use of fungicides, herbicides, pesticides or chemicals. The difficulty comes in the production stage. Once the organically grown grapes have been picked all sorts of chemicals can be added and even more used as production aids.
The most frequently referred to chemical is sulphur or sulphites, however there are about 200 chemicals that may be added to wine at the production stage. Most producers will of course only select a handful from those allowed. It does seem however that some mass produced wines are in fact cocktails of chemicals rather than the grape juice we like to imagine.
Most organic wine producers will add sulphites but at a much lower level than those produced non-organically. It should also be realised that sulphites occur naturally on grapes. From talking with friends and clients we can see that many people normally intolerant to wine can drink organic wines happily. It is not all about the sulphites, but these do seem to affect asthmatics among others. Additionally, the lower sulphites gives credence to the idea that organic wine is less likely to give you a hangover.
In summary, when asked what is organic wine? We would say it is wine made from organically grown grapes and with less chemicals used at the production phase than conventional wines.
To go a step further look for one of our delicious Biodynamic Wines, the next level of Organic wines. The important thing to always bear in mind is that wine should be drunk to enjoy. Saying that if it is organic it should be better for you and better for the environment.
This month we are featuring a selection of delicious pink Champagnes and Sparkling Wines. They are all suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike. Great Organic Wine Gifts for Valentines, Mothering Sunday or yourself!
Pizzolato Frizzante Rose – £9.99
Pizzolato Frizzante Rose has a delicate structure with a smooth slightly fruity flavour. It has excellent persistence and fine bubbles. There is a fruity nose of cherries and jam.
Pizzolato Spumante Rose – £11.99
Pizzolato Spumante Rose is a vivacious light pink fizz is full of lively bubbles. It is not too dry, has a gentle floral nose and is easy to drink.
La Jara Pinot Grigio Spumante Rose – £12.99
La Jara Pinot Grigio Spumante Rose was featured by Matthew Jukes in his Daily Mail article “Ten Rosés for Valentine’s Day“: “Not many people know this, but pinot grigio has a pink skin (literally ‘grey’ from grigio) and so if you crush the grapes gently you can pick up a stunning pink hue from these organically grown tiptop grapes. La Jara is jaw-droppingly beautiful and ultra-rare. Made by a Prosecco genius, this is one of the most alluring fizzies I have tasted in years.”
The Daily Telegraph refers to La Jara as Prosecco royalty and La Jara Pinot Grigio Spumante Rose as “sheer, unadulterated drinking pleasure laced through with raspberries, wild strawberries and sherbet.”
Our best selling wine in February 2013.
Champagne Piollot Rose – £26.99
Piollot Rose Champagne is a pink Champagne with a deep rose tint. It is a delightful Pinot Noir that delivers a nose with a voluptuous, rich bouquet with notes of freshly picked cherry and raspberry. Very agreeable in the mouth and with a satisfying fluidity. This cuvée will leave no one indifferent, thanks to its rich and generous nature, as well as a perfect balance. A truly delicious experience and a Champagne of true elegance.
“Then we headed off to Katzenthal to meet biodynamic grower Clement Klur. There was a big party taking place, and we only just managed to talk ourselves out of a walk through the vineyards with a comedian dressed as a monk, and instead settled for a tasting with Clement.
The wines here, made from 7 hectares of vines on the steep slopes around the village, were superb. 2009 Riesling and 2010 Pinot Gris from the Grand Cru Wineck Schlossberg vineyard were sensational. Klur’s regular Gewurztraminer 2009 is a rich, brilliant wine. And he makes two super Pinot Noirs: very pale in colour, but fragrant, mineral, light and complex.”
Jamie Goode is the wine journalist at The Sunday Express, the above excerpt is from his WineAnorak blog.
“Ten Rosés for Valentine’s Day“: “Not many people know this, but pinot grigio has a pink skin (literally ‘grey’ from grigio) and so if you crush the grapes gently you can pick up a stunning pink hue from these organically grown tiptop grapes. La Jara is jaw-droppingly beautiful and ultra-rare. Made by a Prosecco genius, this is one of the most alluring fizzies I have tasted in years.”
The Daily Telegraph refers to La Jara as Prosecco royalty. The La Jara Pinot Grigio Spumante Rose as “sheer, unadulterated drinking pleasure laced through with raspberries, wild strawberries and sherbet.”
Matthew Jukes, Wine Columnist at The Mail (12 February 2011)
Domaine Begude Pinot Noir, Haute Vallée de l’Aude, France 2010
David Williams comments in The Observer:
You’d be paying a great deal more for this light, elegant red if it came from a starrier French appellation further north, rather than the lesser-known Limoux region of the Languedoc. A genuine bargain, it is subtle and quietly charming, strawberry-scented and silky textured – at its best with light game or, if you’re thinking that far in advance, the Christmas turkey.
Imbuko Wines, South Africa: Great to have a wine supplier with such a strong social responsibility ethos. Part of the proceeds of the Releaf Wine goes direct to the community to support students and the school. This backs up their statement on sustainable farming. Also, bottles are from recycled glass and the labels are recycled paper.
Just as important the wine tastes great: Imbuko Releaf is an elegant wine offering intense blackberry & cassis flavours leading to a finish with enchanting vanilla spices. It is a big, rich powerful spiced number. There are drying fruits, blackcurrant, plums and a Cabernet presence, tannins coming in at the end.
These growers have many lovely organic red wines and organic whites as well as rose. For organic sparkling wines try La Jara and Pizzolato from Italy or the organic cava from Pares Balta. For the more traditional we recommend Claude Carre Champagne – although not certified organic, it is simply an excellent Champagne and Claude himself does not go for all the modern interference, machines or chemicals that you might find with many non organic wines.
New: Wines from the Pares Balta Winery in the Pacs del Penedès, approximately 55 kilometers south of Barcelona. We are pleased to be able to offer an organic red wine, a white and a rose as well as a Cava, from this acclaimed family owned and run vineyard. All the wines are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The organic red, rose and white wines are all at £9.99 per bottle; the Cava is particularly good value.
We hope you enjoy the Pares Balta wines as much as we do.