Join us this month as we dish the dirt on all things organic!
More of you than ever are trying to keep it green with the wine you are drinking, but what makes a wine organic?And is biodynamics something we should all be looking at more closely? Can a wine be neither of these but still environmentally friendly? Stay tuned this month for our take on organic wine!
BIODYNAMIC WINE EXPLAINED
More an all-encompassing philosophy than a simple system of farming, Biodynamics views the vineyard as just one element in an interconnected universe.
From soil to solar system, every element in our cosmos emits energy, and it is the role of the biodynamic farmer to maintain harmony between them. No form of synthetic treatment is permitted on a biodynamic vineyard - instead a number of natural preparations are used to maintain a healthy vineyard. These are some of the more controversial elements of biodynamic viticulture, and involve elements as bizarre as burying a manure-packed cow skull underground and spraying the result over the vineyard.
However strange as it may seem, there is no denying that biodynamics seems to work. It has been employed by some of the most respected producers worldwide, including top Chateaux in Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne. Studies have shown that biodynamic vineyards have increased soil life compared to those farmed conventionally, and even those farmed organically!
ORGANIC WINE EXPLAINED
Every day it seems that more producers are taking the plunge and committing to Organic certification.
This means no artificial pesticides, herbicides or fungicides are permitted on the vineyard, and also limits the use of chemicals during the winemaking process - particularly sulphur dioxide. However, the picture is not as simple as this - some producers may cultivate organically but choose not to certify, and organic certification can mean different things depending on which part of the world you're in. Find certified organic wines on our website here
SUSTAINABLE WINE EXPLAINED
A category we've coined to catch those producers who may not be fully-fledged organic, but who are cultivating with a conscience.
Maybe they have an organic plot on their estate, like Casas del Bosque of Chile. Maybe they carry the New Zealand sustainability seal, or are accredited by Sustainable Wine South Africa. Or perhaps they practice the French philosophy of 'Lutte Raisonée' or 'reasoned struggle' - moving towards a chemical free approach without committing to full organic status.