Misconceptions of organic wine

Health conscious and environmentally concerned millenials are said to be the driving force of the booming organic wine trade.    We couldn’t wait until this weekend’s Pyrmont Festival and when we had the chance to speak to one of the exhibiting winemakers, we just had to ask Tamburlaine Organic Wines to help demystify this world of wine that, although has been around for thousands of years, is pretty new to us here in the office.


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ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC AND NATURAL WINES ARE THE SAME THING, WHY CALL THEM BY DIFFERENT NAMES?

“Organic means “preservative free” (no added sulphur dioxide or SO2). They are not related but are mutually exclusive in winemaking.  Organic methods comply with the Organic Standard and sulphur use is allowed in the Australian Organic Standard.” says Irma Dupuis, Head of Branding, Strategy and Communications at Tamburlaine.

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This is specific to the way the grapes are cultivated.  Biodynamic wines focus on the planting, pruning and harvesting of grapes based on a lunar calendar because the land is viewed as a living entity, while natural wine can incorporate both organic and biodynamic practises with little human intervention.

“A few winemakers are marketing wines (organic or otherwise) that have no added sulphur (labelled “preservative free” or “no added sulphur”).  All good winemakers aim to keep total SO2 levels in wines low.” continues Dupuis.  “A very small number of people react to the presence of sulphur, however it continues to be used because it is very effective as an anti-oxidant and for biological stability in very small amounts (mg/L or parts per million)”.

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The wineries on show this weekend!

ORGANIC WINE DOESN’T AGE AS WELL, SO WHY DRINK IT?

“This is only true of wines without added SO2. Organic winedoes not mean sulphur-free. Sulphur is a natural by-product of the fermentation process of wine-making.  You literally can’t make wine without them.  It keeps the wine fresh and stable and is acceptable under the Australian Organic Standard.” says Dupuis.

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The Lodge at Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Pokolbin

“Today, more than ever, organic wine is being recognised as some of the best quality wine on the market.  The wine industry is starting to endorse organic practices and national and international show results are there to prove that organic wine is not just an environmental promise, it is also guarantee of quality and rigorous winemaking.”

SO MANY LOCAL PYRMONT ESTABLISHMENTS ARE INCREASING THEIR SELECTION OF ORGANIC WINE, WHAT DOES THAT SUGGEST ABOUT THE PYRMONT LOCAL PALETTE?

“The Sydney food scene has definitely caught onto this notion and is embracing local, organic food and wine more than ever.  It’s no longer enough to create something that simply ’tastes good’. People want to know the story behind what they are consuming.”

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