What are organic wines?

What are organic wines?

We get asked a lot about the differences between organic, biodynamic and natural wines. So we thought we would get that out of the way for you by checking out these terms one by one:

Starting with organic, what is it and why is it different from natural wine? In short, organic certification isn't necessarily about what is being done, but rather about what is not: no chemicals are allowed in the vineyard, meaning no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, nor chemical fertilizers. Many of which are widely used in agriculture and about which we are only now learning the devestating effect on soils, surrounding nature and our human bodies. So, it's a great first step. Organic certification, however, isn't perfect. Various other harsh materials can still be sprayed, in the case of wine even from airplanes and helicopters. The main worry with organic farming is the wide us of copper in vineyards, which poison the soil but are considered an organic material.

Is natural wine the same as organic wine?

And the main difference with natural wine? First of all, a certified organic wine can be a natural wine(!), but it's not necessarily the case because: organic certification mainly speaks of the work in the vineyard and less so in the cellar. You can still make a highly (but slightly less) industrial product, riddled with additives, and label it as an organic wine. Still, we do recommend completely switching to only drinking organic wine, since test after test is revealing the high amount of pesticide residue being found in conventional wines. At least, with organic wines, you can be assured it is free from chemical pesticides. By the way, for organic wine the maximum sulfite levels can still be pretty high and are 100 gr/l for red wine (in stead of 150 for conventional) and 150 for white (in stead of 200 for conventional).

All information above is about the European organic certification, this is completely different for organic wine in the US, for instance. Google the differences.

Markus Praat, founder at ASOP Wines