Organic wine is easily identifiable because it is an official and European certification. Certified organic wines are generally recognizable thanks to the organic logo often (but not always) affixed to the labels. If the logo is not present on the bottle, the winegrower must be able to produce his certificate. The organic labeling complies with strict standards, in addition to the logo, it has the code of the certifying body and the origin of the product.
Organic wine starts with organic grapes
It may seem obvious, sure, but organic winemaking starts with growing organic grapes. Before 2012, in fact, the notion of organic wine did not exist: only the grapes were organic and nothing regulated the processing operations. So we had wine “from organically produced grapes” and not organic wine as we understand it today.
Overall, organic farming , governed since 1991 by EEC regulation no. 2092 of the European Community, means that the manufacturer does not have the right to use "synthetic" products in his production process. Instead, you have the right to use products that are found in their natural state.
Example: sulfur is a plant protection product that occurs naturally, while "tebuconazole", effective on the same disease, is synthesized by the chemical industry.
The vine is highly susceptible to two fungal diseases: downy mildew and powdery mildew , and it is nearly impossible to get grapes without protecting the plants from these. Luckily for organic viticulture, there are two fungicides essential in the fight against these fungi: copper sulphate for downy mildew and sulfur for powdery mildew.
These two products, whose discovery is very ancient and whose use is centuries old, can be used when you want to produce an organic wine, with quantitative limits for copper, whose residues in the ground can be a problem. Depending on the production areas, one or the other of these pesticides will be used more or less.
Other products, based on clay or citrus extract, are available in the biological pharmacopoeia, however, to date their effectiveness remains limited. These pesticides, precisely because they are pesticides, are "contact" products that do not penetrate the plant and have fairly "neutral" toxicological classifications.
Fertilizers in organic viticulture
No chemical fertilizers are authorized in organic viticulture. The organic winegrower can use compost, manure or any form of organic fertilizer as well as some naturally occurring mineral substances (lime, potassium sulphate). The vine is a plant that does not need many inputs unless you want to produce large yields, and the available organic fertilizers allow you to maintain a correct level of production. The yield is not only linked to the use of fertilizers, other factors are important, such as the age of the vine, the variety or the availability of water.
What does an organic wine guarantee?
An organic wine is always made from organic grapes . You therefore have the guarantee that no synthetic product has been used to produce the grape from which it is obtained. No herbicides, no chemical fertilizers and treatment products mostly limited to sulfur and copper. However, this does not guarantee "good viticulture practices" (treatment of waste and effluents, reasoned management of the vine, water or energy consumption), quality viticulture (and therefore wine), nor the impact on biodiversity or on the of carbon.
In the next articles we will talk about organic winemaking that allows you to transform organic grapes into "organic wine", biodynamic or even natural wines . In the meantime, we invite you to discover our range of organic wines!