The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

8:39 PM

Food of the Day - Organic Wine

Posted by Magic of Spice

Organic wine
What makes it organic?
For a wine to be considered organic, the grapes
cannot be treated with pesticides or fungicides
They must also be grown without uses of chemical fertilizers
There are also restrictions on adding additional sulfates
As well as over manipulation during the wine making process
Organic Grapes

Organic categories:
*100% Organic Wine
No sulfites, nitrates, or other non-organic ingredients 
have been added to produce the wine
The certifying agents name appear on the product

*Organic, Made with Organic Grapes
If at least 95% is made from organic grapes
No addition of sulfates not naturally occurring
And no more than 5% of materials being of non-organic
May also contain the additive of yeast, under the 5%

*Made with Organic Ingredients
This does not qualify for the USDA Organic seal
Must have 70% of the grapes used be organic
Sulfates can be added, but included on the label up to 100 ppm
May have the certifying agent’s name, but no USDA seal

*Some Organic Ingredients
Less than 70% organic materials used
The label needs to identify the organic ingredient
No USDA certificate label
Handpicking Grapes

Notes: Some sulfates are a naturally occurring in wine making
Sulfites are a natural byproduct of the fermentation process
 Fermenting yeasts present on all grape skins generate naturally occurring sulfates
 in amounts ranging from 6 to 40 parts per million (ppm.)
In making a consistently stable wine, some sulfites are added to those naturally present
 100% Organic wine makers use no added sulfites at all
A certain amount of sulfates are considered by most winemakers
to be essential in preventing oxidation
Wine Vinyard

What is different about “Biodynamic Farming?”
Biodynamic farming was developed by Rudolph Steiner
 It treats the whole vineyard as an ecosystem, 
and uses natural predators for insect problems
As well as use of composts in place of fertilizers
Vineyard Castell

Liberty Wall - Benziger

USDA definition for organic foods:
"Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations
 Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation
 Before a product can be labeled "organic," a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards."

Sustainable winemaking:
Sustainable winemaking means growers cease the use of chemicals 
and artificial fertilizers to improve growth of their vineyards 
The use of natural fertilizers and composts
The additions of plants that attract beneficial insects
Provisions are included with other vegetation
Allowing for wildlife to be feed,
 slowing the need for them to feed on the grapes
Weeds and wildflowers are allowed to grow between the vines,
stressing the vines which allows for smaller bunches
and more intensely flavored grapes

In short sustainable wine making uses
The available eco-system surrounding the vineyard

Where to get it:
Benziger Winery 
Grgich Hills 
Bonterra Vineyards 
Frog's Leap 
The Organic Wine Company 
Frey Vineyards 
Organic Vintners 

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