What’s the difference between natural and organic wine?
The terms natural and organic are often used interchangeably when it comes to wine, however in reality they are vastly different. Certified Organic winemaking follows a strict protocol, with accreditation only achieved after a three-year assessment process.
Once certified, organic winemakers are audited each year to ensure they operate within the established guidelines. No chemical agents or other synthetic materials are able to be used in the growing and harvesting of the vines, and the use of additives in the fermentation process is restricted.
There are no “rules”, definitions, certifications, protocols or rules surrounding natural winemaking, it is more of a self-controlled movement. They are not governed by how much sulphur dioxide they put into their wines (in the same way Certified Organic wines are) although many choose not to add any, nor do they even need to be made from organic grapes. The end result is wine that is left in a so-called ‘natural’ state with minimal interference or additives.
A certified organic logo displayed on a bottle gives consumers the confidence that the product they are purchasing is grown organically crafted in a certified organic winery, free from harmful chemicals and pesticides.
What does vegan wine mean?
According to PETA, the majority of people are unaware that some wines are made using animal-derived products. These fining agents, some of which are used to remove protein and yeast include milk, egg whites and isinglass — made from the float bladder of the sturgeon fish.
Our range of Certified Organic wines do not use any animal-based fining products, or tested inputs in making the wine. By using only the free run fraction of the juice we do not have the heavy solids in the end wines that necessitate the use of these fining agents – they really are pure and clean, just the way nature intended.
Does natural or organic wine have a different flavour to conventional wine?
It is only natural that when the vine is healthier, the fruit it produces will be as well.
We have found a better depth of flavour in grapes from our organically certified vineyards which in turn results in wines with deeper flavours.
How does biodynamic wine fit in the picture?
Biodynamics is a holistic, ecological, and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food, and nutrition. Biodynamic winemaking follows the principles of the philosopher Rudolf Steiner and is based on the idea that, for it to reach its full potential, a vineyard needs to be well-balanced and harmonious. Winemaking practices include pruning and harvesting in accordance with the phases of the moon.
It is a large and complex system – the key is having a healthy soil and vineyard microbiome and that carries through to healthy vines and flavour packed grapes that we lovingly turn in to delicious, flavour packed wines.
What’s wrong with conventional wine?
Nothing, there are many very good non-organic wines.
We just believe that there are better, more sustainable, ways to do things in both the winery and vineyards than use harmful pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that not only serve their intended purpose but also have other negative consequences.
By farming organically our soils are healthier and as a result the vines are as well. They are more in balance and we see the grapes from these vines having better flavour and in the case of red wines better colour. This in turn helps us craft wines that are more full flavoured and longer lasting.
So how do we decode a wine label to make the best decision?
First look for the ‘Certified Organic’ label and corresponding certification number – this ensures the wine you are selecting has been properly accredited and is not merely trading on organic branding.
Australian labels are very clearly laid out with maker, region and variety very easy to identify.
Wine and food pairings are also often clearly stated on many wine labels. As a general guide red wine with red meat and white wine with white meat, but there are no hard and fast rules and if as a consumer you find a pairing that you like go for it.
What’s the best wine to avoid a headache?
The brand called “Too Much”.
Whilst organic wine does have less Sulphur Dioxide added as a preservative than non-organic wines, it is only a very small proportion of the population that have adverse reactions to it.
The hangover is merely caused by dehydration so it is important not to overdo it and drink any alcoholic beverage in moderation and also drink plenty of water.
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