An Organic wine is made from grapes grown in vineyards without the use of synthetic chemicals – fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. Converting from a non-organic vineyard to an organic vineyard is a three-year process and a very costly one, involving annual audits by organisations such as the Soil Association in UK or Ecocert in France, who will award the certification. It costs a farmer four times as much to produce an organic wine than a non-organic wine. There are a number of natural alternatives to chemical-based products that winemakers can use to treat pests and diseases such as planting other crops around the vines to increase microbial life: One such approach is to plant buckwheat to attract wasps which will kill other insects that eat the berries. Ultimately winemakers are aiming to make good wine from healthy grapes and soils, working closely to nature. In an attempt to make shopping for organically certified wines easy, we have labelled the wines ‘ORG’.
A wine that is light bodied and under 12.5% alcohol with medium to high acidity and delicate primary fruity aromas. Think varietal expression, fruit purity and precision rather than emphasis on wine making i.e battonage, reduction, oak, lees contact. These are refreshing wines with wide appeal. Typical tasting note expressions are ‘crisp’, ‘fresh’, ‘zesty’, ‘cool climate’, ‘purity of fruit’, ‘lean’. In its simplest form a light bodied wine would be equivalent to ‘skimmed’ milk and a full- bodied wine equivalent to blue-top, ‘whole fat’ milk. If your preference is for lighter bodied wines, look out for these grape varieties – young Gruner Veltliner, young Riesling, Pinot Bianco/Blanc, Frappato, unaged Chardonnay, Cinsault (whites), Pinot Noir, Gamay, Kadarka (reds).
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