Being out on the street talking to people about wine, lots of people are interested in hearing about wines that are made organically, biodynamically or wines (wineries) that are sustainable. Modern technology has allowed people to “perfect” (depending upon who you ask) winemaking with pesticides in the vineyard & manipulation in the lab. These 3 buzz words; organic, biodynamic & sustainable are on the other end of the spectrum.
Wine Spectator clears up some of the differences between the 3 winemaking methods/practices…
A: These terms vary in the way they’re defined and regulated, but here are some definitions for the ways in which they’re most typically used.
The U.S. government regulates use of the term “organic,” but “sustainable” and “biodynamic” have no legal definitions. There are two types of organic listings on wine bottles. Wines can be made from certified organically grown grapes, avoiding any synthetic additives, or, to take it a step further, “organic” wines are made from organically grown grapes, and are also made without any added sulfites (though naturally occurring sulfites will still be present).
Biodynamic is similar to organic farming in that both take place without chemicals, but biodynamic farming incorporates ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem, and also accounting for things such as astrological influences and lunar cycles. A biodynamic wine means that the grapes are farmed biodynamically, and that the winemaker did not make the wine with any common manipulations such as yeast additions or acidity adjustments. A wine “made from biodynamic grapes” means that a vintner used biodynamically grown grapes, but followed a less strict list of rules in winemaking.
Sustainability refers to a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible. (Sustainable farmers may farm largely organically or biodynamically but have flexibility to choose what works best for their individual property; they may also focus on energy and water conservation, use of renewable resources and other issues.) Some third-party agencies offer sustainability certifications, and many regional industry associations are working on developing clearer standards.
In a world where things come full cycle, these “traditional”, “old fashioned” or “hands-off” wines were “improved upon” (again, depending upon who you ask) by modern technology. Of late, there has been a movement away from “manipulated” wines instead preferring wines made using one of the aforementioned practices. I can’t say that all wines made any certain way are either good or bad, but I would say the wines made with additives, chemicals and in a lab, do seem to lack character, personality or a real uniqueness.
Happy organamicainable made wine tasting and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!