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Organic/Biodynamic

Hi-Time Wine Cellars Organic/Biodynamic Wines, Spirits and Beer

Created by Organic Vintners, Updated February 2, 2012

HOW ARE CERTIFIED ORGANIC WINES LABELED?

There are only two legitimate 100% organic categories in wine.

One with added natural sulfur dioxide and one with naturally occurring sulfites.

Made With Organic Grapes

  • Grapes have been grown in accordance to the organic standards established by the USDAís National Organic Program.
  • The wine has been produced and bottled in a certified organic facility.
  • No synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides are used in the vineyards, ever.

Organic Wine

  • Grown, produced and bottled as above.
  • No stabilizing sulfur dioxide has been added during the winemaking process.
  • Naturally occurring sulfites are produced during the fermentation process so although wines labeled 'organic wineí have no added sulfites, sulfites may still be detected.

LOW IN SULFITES

Natural Sulfur Dioxide (generically called sulfites) are a naturally occurring by-product of fermentation, and they are also added to prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and as a preservative from spoilage. This makes the wine stable so the taste will not change during transportation and storage, and the wine will be ageable. Organic wine with added sulfur dioxide is required to contain 3 times less SO2 than conventional wines, and may contain eight times less than dried fruits such as apricots and sun-dried tomatoes. Itís not the sulfites that give people wine headaches!

HOW CAN I TELL ITíS REALLY CERTIFIED ORGANIC?

"Organic" is the only lawful and regulated assurance consumers can depend on. Wine labels that say "made with organic grapes" or "organic wine" are the only legitimately certified organic wines. The U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau approves all wine labels and all organic claims must be substantiated. Look for the word "organic" or "made with organic" on wine labels. Watch out for terms such as "sustainable," "eco-farmed," and "ladybug friendly;" these terms are not regulated and have unregulated self-serving definitions.

VEGAN

Animal by-products often used in clarifying or filtering wine include:

  • Isinglass, derived from fish, used to bring out or unmask the fruit character without significant changes in the tannin levels.
  • Gelatin, derived from animal hooves, is used to reduce tannins in red wine, clarify whites and removes bitter taste in white wines.
  • Casein, a milk protein, is used to remove browning, removes bitter taste and removes excess oak.
  • Egg whites, derived from chickens, are used to reduce bitter tannins in red wines and to clarify red wines. (organic chicken eggs for organic wines)

Vegan wines are not produced with any animal product and are instead clarified with bentonite clay. Bentonite is a natural substance which has been very intricately assembled by the forces of nature, formed from fine volcanic dusts that just happened to come in contact with the right type of water at the right time.

IS SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC?

No. In the past few years numerous winemakers have jumped on the "green bandwagon" spawning a vague wine category known as "sustainable" and "eco-friendly." Because you value your health and that of the planet by choosing chemical-free wines, it is our job to provide you with just that: 100% certified organic wines. Although some wine producers may be practicing environmentally positive viticulture, there are no requirements for words like "sustainable," "eco-farmed," or "ladybug friendly."

Created by Organic Vintners, Updated February 2, 2012



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This Chart was created Mountain Peoples Wine Distributing, Inc.

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