Why Aren't More Wines Organic?

The organic trend is fizzling down, this is partially because it’s hardly a trend anymore, it’s starting becoming a standard in modern food production. Especially if you want to win over customers. More and more brands that were not originally organic are now turning organic or advertising their use of organic ingredients. But the question still remains, how come there isn’t a larger amount of organic wines available? The answer is very simple but comes with much debate; bottom line – it all comes down to sulfates.

Sulfates are  naturally occurring in wines due to the fermentation process, but many winemakers also add a bit more to the process to help preserve the wonderful flavors that they’ve worked so hard on. For a product to become certified organic, there must be no added sulfates whatsoever. As a result, even though organic food is one of the fastest-growing categories in the supermarket, “organic wine” is an afterthought. But what if the USDA would permit the use of additional sulfates only for winemakers? Is this where the system starts to break down even more? Slowly manipulating rules and standards for specific groups?

“Because of that, some leading environmentalists in the wine industry — including Paul Dolan of Mendocino Wine Co., a pioneer in organic grape farming — are asking the government to allow sulfites to be added to wines labeled organic. Dolan thinks that change would encourage more grape growers to be certified organic, meaning the use of fewer herbicides and pesticides in vineyards.”LA Times

Our resident Wine Department Managers, Nichole Bower and Leigh Rogers say, “At Ellwoods, we carry several sulfite-free wines but we also believe that careful vineyard management is vital in quality wine production. The addition of sulfites should be the choice of the conscientious winemaker.”

To read the full article over at the L.A. Times, click here.

And on a closing note, we wanted to show you this: