Led by a new generation of dedicated winemakers and supported by discerning consumers, quality organic wines are now both more available and pleasing to the palate.
What are organic wines?
Spring Seed Wine Co. explains, “Organic farming is based on minimising the use of external inputs, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides… Dictated by the seasons, vineyards are managed traditionally to help minimise our impact on the soils and environment, and grow the very best quality grapes we can.”
Another quality South-Australian organic wine maker Paxton, have nurtured their McLaren Vale vineyards for three decades. Paxton produce biodynamic wines. The foundation of biodynamic farming is healthy soil. Special compost applications are used primarily from cow manure, weeds are controlled by straw mulching, beehives improve grape pollination and seed production. The farm is seen as a whole organism rather than a series of problems to be solved individually.
Do organic and biodynamic wines still contain preservatives?
Unless otherwise labelled, organic and biodynamic wines contain about half (or less) of the preservative sulphur dioxide (220). Sulphur dioxide is linked to sore throat, runny nose, headaches and breathing trouble in sensitive people.
The maximum allowable limit of sulphur dioxide is 300 parts per million in conventional wines or for certified organic wines the limit is half that amount, 150ppm. Most organic and biodynamic wines are below 120ppm.
If you are sensitive to preservatives, the minimal use of preservative 220 in organic brands often makes a difference. There is also a small selection of preservative free wines in store. Less headaches is a good thing! And has helped convert many to organic wines.