Organic Wine's Star Turn
Organic wine used to be a niche category of wine reserved for the health-conscious and the small percentage of consumers who felt that natural wines were better for their bodies and for the environment (they probably are, it turns out). Today, however, organic wines are some of the most popular on the market, with producers from large to boutique striving to make their wines in as close to an organic manner as possible. But what does that mean, exactly? Let's take a look.
What does organic wine mean?
What is organic wine? Put simply, organic wine is any wine that's produced naturally and crafted from organically grown grapes. But there are many shades of gray that have to be considered. You can make wine from organically grown grapes, for example, but not use organic winemaking ingredients. Some producers work organically in the winery, and use only organically grown grapes. Still, because certification is often costly and time-consuming, they don't have the seal of an official governing body on the label. But in general, some indication of the use of organic ingredients will be noted on the bottle, because it has become a significant selling point.
Where does organic wine come from?
Organic wine can come from anywhere in the world. Even vineyards that 30 years ago used lots of chemical herbicides and pesticides can work to convert their land to organic, and eventually pass the rigorous rules for organic certification.
How is organic wine made?
Organic wine is made the same way as non-organic wine in terms of process. The main difference is that organic wine is produced without the use of non-organic ingredients, which means no chemical herbicides or pesticides in the vineyard and no non-organic ingredients in the winery, like chemical fining agents, colorings, and more.
What is a good organic wine?
The best organic wines of 2018, best organic wines of 2019, and best organic wines from any vintage will all be made following those guidelines. As more and more brands begin converting their production to organics, it will become even more common than it already is to see organic labels on the bottles of your favorite wines, whether they're produced by large companies or small, boutique brands.
Is organic wine really better for you?
There's a lot of debate about this question, but the general consensus is that it may very well be better for you in the same way that organic food is considered to be better for you. The fewer chemicals involved in the production of what you eat and drink, the better. One thing is clear; however: Organically grown grapes are almost certainly better for the long-term health of the environment.
What's the difference between organic wine and regular wine?
Aside from the way the grapes are grown and the ingredients used in its production, there is no difference. Organic Cabernet and non-organic Cabernet can both be delicious. Choosing to purchase and drink organic or non-organic wine is as much a matter of personal preference as anything else
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