Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Organic wine

According to some data, wine is commonly drunk by people between the age of 21 and 34; women think about healthier wine more than men do; those who earn less are interested in organic wine more than those who earn more money (the rich strive to traditional or probably expensive wine). Otherwise, organic wine, produced and sold now worldwide, is not a threat to those who produce wine in a traditional way.
As estimated, there are 2,000 organic vineyards, of which almost nine hundred are in France. The largest area of organic vineyards is in Italy– about 45,000 ha (45 % in Sicily), then in Spain (21,000 ha) and France (10,000 ha). In Europe there are 92,500 ha, which means that viticulture makes about 1 per cent of entire organic farming. However, although organic wine is more and more talked about, its destiny is entangled in different interpretations of organic farming and organic products. In the European Union until recently it was not allowed to put a label on the bottle „ organic wine“, but only a descriptive note: „made from organic grapes“. At the beginning of 2013, in Brussels, the EU allowed labels „organic wine“. Even more important is that, under these new rules, organic wine can contain sulfites which was unthinkable to for many. It may support claims that sulfites are not harmful to health, but this is all about financial reasons: sulfites allow wine to last longer.
In the European Union the amount of sulfites organic wine can contain is: 100ppm total for red wine, 150ppm for white wine or rosé, as opposed to  the 10ppm allowed in the US (only when naturally occurring). Conventional wines in the US are allowed 350ppm. 
What is organic wine?
Organic wine is made from grapes grown in accordance with the principles of organic
farming, which means the strict application of numerous rules and criteria, and each product labeled organic must obtain a certificate as evidence of compliance with the rules. Viticulture in accordance with the principles of organic farming means production of healthy grapes and quality wine. Biological laws are respected, natural fertility of soil is enhanced and its microbiological activity which contributes to the healthy nutrition of vines is used. Land cultivation is minimized, and use of mineral fertilizers and synthetic pesticides is prohibited. Constant control of production which fits into the protection of environment, organic viticulture ensures the quality, preservation of the environment and human health. The vineyard has to be far from the industrial pollution, high-ways and conventional plantings. In the vicinity of the vineyard should be a belt of planted trees and shrubs because they have a good effect on the presence of beneficial organisms and stability of agro-ecological system. The content of harmful substances in the soil must be below the prescribed value. The decision on the sustainability of land for organic production brings, after the control of land, air and water, is brought by an authorized person from a licensed institution. Since soil is usually poor in organic matters, it is necessary to add humus. For normal development and good yield, soil must have 2.5-3% humus. Only organic fertilizers are used as nutrient.  That can be manure, compost, humus (earthworm), peat and wood ashes.
In addition to organic, biodynamic wine appeared recently. While organic wine cannot contain chemicals that are formed by using fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, or sulfates, biodynamic wine producers are even tougher: they adopted everything stated above and went a step further by using specially prepared manure (from ox horns, for example), by not using either preservatives, or to defend the vine leaves from pests and most work in the vineyard and the winery is prepared according to the lunar domains. There is no a strict line between these two types of producing grapes. Thus, some individual organic farmers are adopting techniques closer to biodynamics, and they grow plants that attract insects useful for the health of the vine. With special barriers intended for animals that harm plants, allow weed to grow and wild plants to grow between the rows of vines. The use of biodiesel in the vineyards also reduces the risk of emissions of harmful particles, and a plaw and horses are more and more popular. With the increase in global demand, interest in organic wine becomes an obsession of analysts. Careful analysis shows that organic wines do not attract too many consumers yet. Especially, not in these areas, or the region, where the label „ organic wine“ means bad luck, or unstable area for every winemaker, who counts on free access to the market. Even those winemakers who produce wines on their own with a „smell of“ organic, hide that fact instead of proudly putting it on the label! So it appears that organic wines almost do not exist in the region.