Some winemakers prefer organic and biodynamic viticulture methods of producing wine. Several Burgundy estates have started converting to organic produce and other estates maintain selected vineyards that produce biodynamic wines.The Bordeaux region is particularly suitable for this method because the climate there produces mists that are a natural pest repellent. What this means in laymen’s terms is simply that these winemakers are not using chemicals and fertilisers during the winemaking process. Another difference between organic and non-organic wine is the use of sulphites, which increase the shelf-life of non-organic brands but can also influence the flavour. The reason the organic methods are becoming so trendy is that more and more people worldwide are becoming health conscious and environmentally aware. As a result, they are demanding to know exactly what they are consuming.
Taking it a Step Further: Biodynamic Wine
Biodynamic wine starts off as organic wine and then goes further by using agro-ecology and ecologically self-sufficient methods to cultivate it. This wine is produced with careful consideration of the earth’s natural rhythms, the moon, and the stars. Biodynamic winemakers also introduce medicinal plants like Valerian, Dandelion, and Chamomile into the process. Yes, this sounds very complicated and it is, but if a winemaker takes so much care in producing wine, the product may certainly reflect that in taste and quality.
Despite Controversy, it’s Still About Preference
In France winemaking tends to be highly traditional and anything unorthodox can unsettle wine producers and clients who are used to conventional methods. There is also controversy about sulphites. In Europe and Canada organic wines may have added sulphites – in the US this is not the case. Some may argue that European organic wines cannot even be called organic, others take more of a relaxed approach. At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. It is certainly an interesting way of making wine and looking out for your health and the planet. Whether the taste is up to par, one can only find out by tasting. And, as with all wine purchases, it is vital to only deal with a reputable wine merchant.