You have been eating organic food faithfully all these years but, when you go pick up a bottle of organic wine to accompany your organic meal, do you know exactly what an organic wine is? With all these terms getting thrown around like eco friendly, “NSA”, sustainable, green, natural, biodynamic, truly organic, etc., it is confusing and at times misleading.
Having founded The Organic Wine Company in 1980, we understand the organic wine movement. We want to bring to your family table highly drinkable, affordable wines, with structure, character and personality. Wines that are reflective of their terroir (a deep and mostly untranslatable word describing the soil and land in which the grapes are grown.) Wines that are pleasurable to your palate and promote the health of your body, the workers and our planet. So, here are some pointers for you based on thirty years of observation and experience in this industry.
Most importantly, make sure the wine is made with certified organically grown grapes. Inspect the label for the agency certification. Vague terms like sustainable, natural, and green can be misleading. 100% certified organic grapes should be your number one criterion. The rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t say it on the label, don’t buy it. Organic wine, like organic carrot or orange juice, is made from grapes grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. If you wish to buy wines that promote the health of our planet and every creature on it (including yours), then the clear choice is a wine made from third-party certified 100% organically grown grapes.
In the USA, the two types of wines typically bundled in this category are “Wines Made With Organic Grapes” and “No Sulfite Added Organic Wines.” Wines made with 100% organic grapes are made with just that and an additional preservative (elemental sulfur dioxide), so the wine has structure enough to last the journey to your table. No Sulfite Added wines (or NSA wines) are produced without this preservative and are made by only a handful of winemakers. In Europe and Canada, organic wines are called “vins biologiques”; they are made with certified organic grapes and may contain up to 100ppm added SO2.