Organic wines are made from organically grown grapes cultivated without the application of any synthetic fertilizer, fungicide, pesticide or herbicide. Certified organic wine making follows strict standards requiring regular independent third party verification.
Organic wine vintners use a holistic approach which involves working with nature, making sure it remains healthy and sustainable — thus avoiding the use of synthetic harmful products. One of the pillars of this approach is the use of natural composts, manure and mineral compounds to build up the health of the soil. As a result, the vines growing in this fortified soil are healthy and resistant to disease and outside aggressions from parasites and other predatory insects. Organic growers use companion planting techniques (interspersing the vines with plants that naturally repel certain pests) to deal with insect invasions and when necessary treatments such as natural biodegradable sprays applications.
The processing and storage of the wines also follow strict standards forbidding the use of synthetic products. Only pure natural sulphur dioxide (sulphite) is used as an anti-oxidant and amounts allowed are far less than common unregulated usage.
Furthermore, because most organic wine producers tend to do less manipulation and processing of their wines, consumers receive a product that is far more natural than other non organic wines, is less likely to trigger allergies and is healthier for the environment. Many people find organic wines to be more easily drinkable and more flavourful than wines made by more industrial standards.
Biodynamic wines are a cut above organic-only wines. In addition to organic practices, they follow the rhythms of the cosmos – seasons, tides, cycles of the moon and sun – to produce clean and lively quality wines. They also use homeopathic plant preparations to strengthen the plants’ health and resistance to disease.