• Organic wine. Is there such a thing?

    In the richest parts of the world, the recognition of organic wine is gaining pace. Demand is strong in countries like Germany and Switzerland. More wine producers are scrambling to certify as 'bio', even in France. By law it requires 7 years to qualify as it takes supposedly this long for the soil to rid of years of chemical fertilising. Yet there are no lack of wine makers aiming to get a certification, whether mercenary or altruistic.     

    Wines labelled as 'organic' command higher prices. As with Fair-trade produce rich consumers are willing to pay more for a good cause. It is true that organically grown fruits and vegetables have smaller yield and better taste. The question is, is organic wine the same as organic fruits and vegetables?  

    For starter, the description 'organic wine' is incorrect and could be termed as mis-leading labelling. The correct description should and must be 'wine made from organically grown grapes'. The wine made from these grapes has to go through the normal wine-making process which requires at certain stages additive or chemical. Could the wine maintain its 'organically grown grapes' property is debatable.

    Interestingly, grapes have been grown in France for more than a thousand years to make wine - possibly more than a thousand years before the advent of chemical fertilisers. The traditional viticulture had been 'organic' in the sense that only horse manure were used.

    If one cares to check the better chateaux and domaines in France that still keep to this tradition today, and there are plenty of them, one would be surprised that being 'organic' is never mentioned because they have always been organic, then and now!     

    So is there such a thing as Organic Wine? And are they worth paying more? I explain, you decide.



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