In recent years the concept of organic produce has grown from a niche industry into a full-time phenomenon, with many people being willing to talk about the various reasons why you should go organic and avoid the genetically modified crops that have made up our diets for so many years.
It is not a trend that has gone unnoticed by the wine industry and today there are many producers who create organic wines that not only aim to offer the health benefits that going organic is meant to offer, but also offers a wide array of other reasons for you to go organic than you may have expected. Here the team at Xtrawine will examine just a few of them.
The Authentic Experience
While we will circle back around to the health issue a little later on in the article, one of the most interesting reasons that many give for buying organic wine is that it offers them a more authentic taste of the land where the grapes were grown.
The reason for this is that synthetic chemicals from things like fungicides and herbicides are not used in organic production. Many of these chemicals will find their way into the grapes over time, so even though they serve a useful purpose, particularly for large vineyards, they also have some influence on the taste of the wine that is produced using those grapes.
Without them, wine lovers get to drink wines that have not been influenced by man-made forces, outside of the skills of the winemakers themselves. This, for many, offers a more authentic experience where they get to “taste” the terroir, as well as the wine itself.
Inviting Others To The Party
While it would not be accurate to claim that organic wines are completely free of sulphur dioxide, the volume used is massively reduced to the point where people who may have had to avoid wine in the past, often due to allergies or intolerances, now have the opportunity to sample organic wines.
To explain a little, sulphur dioxide is not necessarily bad. In fact, it has been used as a cleaning agent and preservative in the wine industry for many years and continues to see use in the present day.
However, there are those who suffer from asthma, intolerances and migraines who often find that sulphur dioxide can exacerbate their issues. Furthermore, some believe that the compound can also cause skin rashes and other problems in those who have little tolerance for it. The reduced levels of the compound in organic wines is beneficial because it allows such people to enjoy what the industry has to offer, while lowering the risk of suffering from the side-effects that some people are susceptible to.
One of the main claims of organic vineyards is that they have healthier soil that is more conducive to growing high quantities and better quality grapes. The lack of man-made herbicides and pesticides allows for a variety of plants to grow in vineyards outside of the vines themselves, all of which offer something different to the soil, allowing for the creation of soil that imbues the vines with healthier characteristics, particularly over time.
This focus on biodiversity also attracts a number of animals, such as insects and spiders, who can also prove beneficial to the crop. The overall effect is that the vines are grown in conditions that allow for the optimum amount of minerals to be extracted from the soil.
This contributes to the authenticity point that we made earlier, but also results in the growing of healthier plants that are more resistant to disease, thus protecting future vintages, and plants that have less reliance on the fertilisers that are common in the industry. All told, this results in vines that are free of the chemicals that could cause harm to those who ingest them, while also ensuring the health of the plant itself for generations to come, which in turn also offers the winemaker the opportunity to have a longer lasting business.
There are a variety of ways that organic wine production is also more energy efficient than production that involves the use of man-made chemicals.
Perhaps most obviously, the fact that none of these chemicals are used means that organic wineries are not contributing to the energy used to create them in the first place. This extends to other issues, such as the tools that are used in distributing these pesticides, herbicides and preservatives into the wine. Without the need for these tools, many of which are mechanical, organic wineries are able to save on the energy they use.
Not only is this better for the planet, but it also allows for more cost-effective production, which is often demonstrated in the prices charged for the bottles that are produced.
While many will point to the issue of authenticity as the main flavour-based reason for going organic, there is also a school of thought that claims the wines produced using these techniques tend to have cleaner and more easily-identifiable flavours due to the lack of chemicals that may otherwise have obscured them.
This can be used by producers in a number of ways. White and sparkling wines may become more refreshing due to these clearer flavours, whereas red wines may be easier to figure out in addition to packing a more powerful punch.
As tasting is integral in the wine industry, this focus on creating clearer flavours may also help others to identify with the joys of wine. It makes the industry more accessible because people will no longer need to have others around to help them decode their wines. However, some will also claim that clearer tastes take away the sense of discovery that may well be integral to the wine industry as a whole.
The Final Word
There are a number of organic wines available on the Xtrawine website for you to peruse, all of which offer something a little different to their non-organic counterparts. We believe that the best way to determine whether or not going organic is right for you is to give it a try. These reasons are just some of the many that you may discover.