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Sustainable, Natural, Organic, Biodynamic... OH MY!

To be labeled “Organic” and bear the USDA organic seal, the wine must be made from at least 95% organic ingredients, and give information about who the certifying agency is. A wine in this category cannot have any added sulfites, but it is allowed to have naturally occurring sulfites below100 parts per million. The non-organic 5% must either be a non-organically produced agricultural ingredient that is not organically available or another substance like added yeast. Today, many organic wine makers do not want to pay extra for the organic seal, event though they strictly follow organic principles.

Sustainable is a catch-all term used to describe a holistic approach that includes any number of agricultural practices that respect the environment, the ecosystem, and even social issues. Sustainable vineyards may utilize some organic practices without being entirely organic. Or they may simply fight to keep local rivers and streams clean—improving the quality of their irrigation and the surrounding environment. Most vineyards will add sulfites to their wines to prevent browning and spoilage. This approach has been nearly universal since the ancient Greeks, and though techniques have changed, it is still regarded as the most reliable manner to achieve a consistent wine.

Biodynamic winemaking takes sustainable and organic farming to the next level. That next level does include a little bit of voodoo and witchcraft, with burying a cow horn full of cow manure on the autumn equinox, and digging it up six months later on the spring equinox to spread the contents in the vineyard. Biodynamic farming has its roots back in the lectures given by Rudolf Steiner in the 1920s. Quite a complex science and way of thinking, to summarize, you can summarize the biodynamic farming ideology by saying that it takes into account the spiritual forces of earth, animal, plants and brings them in line through a holistic, and natural approach to keeping them all healthy and in sync.

Natural wine
Natural Wine is wine made with minimal chemical and technological intervention in growing grapes and making them into wine. The term is used to distinguish such wine from organic wine. Organic wine is organic in the sense of having been produced made from organically grown grapes, but may be subject to chemical and physical manipulation in the winemaking process In an ideal natural wine, nothing is added and nothing is taken away from the grapes, must or wine.

This informative article has been provided by PGM Wines.
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