Bio wines

sustainable approach to making wine

Recently, the sign of "bio" has become increasingly frequent on wine bottles. We decided to find out how this drink differs from ordinary wine, how grapes are grown and harvested for bio-wine, what is the peculiarity of its taste, and how to drink organic wine.

Over the past 10 years, bio-wine has become noticeably more popular. Its sales in the world have grown by about 25-35%. Officially, such a direction as biological (they are also organic) wines in Europe was recognized 6 years ago.

They came up with a green logo with the letters ab for it (agriculture biologique). Manufacturers can place this on labels only if they create wine using the appropriate biological standards of technology from biological raw materials (as the regulation refers to grapes).

Another important requirement for bio-wine was the change in the amount of sulfur - the main stabiliser for organic drinks. Previously, the norm of sulfites was 150 mg per liter of red and 200 mg per liter of white or pink, now they have been reduced to 100 mg and 150 mg.

Chemistry was also banned - potassium ferrocyanide (they sometimes neutralize excess iron in white wine). Available to bio winemakers are organic fertilisers and copper. Changes has been made about containers just as well.

It is now impossible to pasteurize and store wine at any stage of creation in fiberglass. Drinks of this category can be bottled exclusively in glass bottles and covered with natural corks.

Grapes for bio-wine grow in a special land. No chemistry, the soil can be supported only by natural fertilizers - waste from birds and cattle. Chemical and synthetic insect pesticides are also prohibited. Such conditions are similar to medieval ones. For the environment, the methods are good, but the winemakers' nerves are at the limit: the crop is constantly at risk.

It is also sometimes difficult to confirm the biochemical purity of the soil. If before the land was used for agriculture, it is very likely that they were fertilized with chemicals. And then it remains in the soil for 3-5 years. Then the manufacturers will not be able to stand the test. Wine created with such great efforts will have to be sold as usual, which will have an effect on price.

Grapes must be harvested by hand, getting rid of unhealthy, spoiled berries. They transport it in oak barrels. No artificial yeast is added during production.

The skin of grapes contains yeast. If you have grapes at home, then it will begin to deteriorate, this will be natural fermentation. It is used in organic wines.

Biological wines quickly deteriorate, they have no potential for aging. If you take the great wines of Italy, such as Piedmont, Barolo, Barbaresco, they are aged for 20 years, and over the years their taste becomes more interesting, you can catch new notes in it. With organic matter this will not work, the wine will simply turn sour due to insufficient amounts of sulfur dioxide.

Researchers came to the conclusion that when chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides that help grapes grow are used within the permitted standards, then they get in scanty amounts in the finished wine. They will not succeed in influencing health. And the benefit of such fertilizers is that it is possible to avoid the diseases of the vine, to protect it from pests. The crop is much higher.

As for dyes and flavours, if you drink wine in moderation, they also will not cause harm. Moreover, they will not add anything of the kind to high-level wines.

What is the peculiarity of the taste of organic wines? It, as with traditional wine, depends on the harvest and the talent of the winemaker. If you are lucky with the weather, if the experts have done their job, then you can hope for a tasty and aromatic wine.

Opinions about taste differ. Some note that bio-wines are more tart and rich than ordinary wines, while others do not believe that someone can distinguish them by taste and aroma. Experts believe that the soil is of key importance.

Terroir, a combination of soil and climatic factors and special characteristics of the terrain, is different. For example, the soil is clay, there is lime. The vineyard raises all the elements from the earth, and the gamma of taste depends on them.

Take the famous Chardonnay. This sort of grape is grown in Burgundy and in South Africa. In Burgundy, of course, it is noticeably cooler, in those parts under the gentle sun the grapes are picking up more juices, the wine from it is more aromatic, bright than the drink of the same name from South Africa.

Biological wine is grown in the most organic conditions. They interfere minimally in the natural process, if, for example, a bird falls in the vineyard and dies there, they will not clean it. And fertilisers use organic. As a result, the taste of bio-wine is more natural, natural than usual. It may have notes of the farmyard, blood. These wines are not suitable for everyone.

How to supplement a glass of bio-wine? Combining it with some specific food is optional. Everything is like in classic winemaking.

Bio-wine is controversial - is it so fundamentally different from ordinary and how urgently this drink is needed for those who seek an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but do not want to give up wine.

The interest of buyers in bio-wine can be explained by psychology. The prefix “bio” creates a certain image of products and makes wine more popular than promotion specialists actively use.

There is an opinion that the appearance of organic wines is partly marketing, a way to attract attention to it. Around the bio-wines a great stir, many want to try. All organic foods are now popular, as are health food restaurants. Many people monitor their diet and want their food and drinks to be free of chemicals.

But in this case, you can not be afraid of other drinks. Real good wine is always of high quality, made from good raw materials, there will be no harmful additives. If you drink 2-3 glasses of decent wine a week, then it will not lead to anything bad.

However, although cavistes and sommeliers often raise doubts about the urgent need for bio-wine, it is increasingly appearing in restaurant wine lists. And climbed already far from the capitals. For example, in Siberian restaurants you can safely order a bottle of organics, choosing from several varieties.

Uncorking a bottle of biological wine, you can be sure that there was no chemistry in the vineyard, it was located far from sources of pollution, berries were grown only on organic fertilisers, machines were used minimally in production. Those who want wine with a special energy need to try biodynamics. Organics is only the basis for biodynamic winemaking.

About the author

Melisa Marzett is a paper editing service essay editor who has been working as a journalist for quite some time while living in her native Phoenix Arizona. Melisa is living in Bali for the one last year, combining writing with charity work.