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The growing interest in organic wines

The growing interest in organic wines

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Until fairly recently, organic wine had quite a negative image but there has been now an increasing interest in it from around the world, both for its quality and the positive benefits to the environment.

What is contributing to the growing interest in organic wines? Partially, it can be assumed that due to increasing media attention to industrial wine production, consumers might be more conscious of their own health.

According to a recent report published by the IWSR, the most trusted, accurate, and widely used source for beverage alcohol trends in the world, they predicted that by 2022 around 87.5 million bottles of organic wine would be sold worldwide, driven mainly by European markets.

But what is organic wine? It is often confused with both biodynamic and natural wine, when in fact they are not the same thing.

Organic wine is characterised by the development of sustainable and environmentally friendly practices throughout all stages of its production, which includes both viticulture and winemaking. In simple words, it is the wine that has been verified and certified free of any pesticides and unnatural substances by an authorised certification body.

Wine farms or vineyards, which produce organic wine, tend to include the entire farm in the organic process; establishing an ecology that is free of harmful chemicals and practices. You should also note that what is organic for one country is not necessarily organic for another.

This is due to many countries having different certification criteria, while there are quite a few wines that are in fact organic, but are not promoted as “organic” as a result of not wanting to incur the cost of registering as organic wine, and therefore opt-out for the certification.

The growing interest in organic wines
Studies have shown organic wine to have increased health benefits. Picture: Pexels/Arthu Brognoli

What are some benefits of organic wine?

Studies have shown organic wine to have increased health benefits.

The health benefits associated with wine have been common knowledge for years, and organic wine is said to be the healthiest of them all because when you drink organic wine, you are enjoying it the way it was supposed to be enjoyed, with no pesticides, and no hidden chemicals.

Some of the benefits of organic wine has been that it provides more antioxidants which help your body fight off toxins and free radicals that can damage your organs and cells. According to studies drinking wine may lead to longer life spans, as long as it is consumed moderately.

So, if you want to improve your immunity against age-related diseases, make room for organic wines in your diet and be sure to drink them moderately. It can also boost immunity. Researchers found that drinking wine daily may improve the immune system because it is rich in antioxidants.

Another benefit is it provides healthier skin. Drinking alcohol is known to dehydrate skin, but moderate consumption of organic wines may help improve the signs of skin ageing. That is because of the high antioxidant content in wines.

With that said, let us take a look at some of the new bottles to buy.

The growing interest in organic wines
Sophie Germanier Organic Chardonnay 2021. Picture: Supplied

Organic wine by Sophie Germanier, Chardonnay 2021

Sophie Germanier started her business by producing a vegan-friendly, organic and affordable wine during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Germanier said she left Switzerland to join her father in South Africa in 2014 when she came to help manage the wine farm Sonop, near Paarl that he had purchased in 1991. By 2005 they had transformed the wine estate to be fully organic, which she said was their building for the future.

“The farm has been organic since 2005 and we were one of the first in South Africa to convert into organic farming and we have been certified since then,” said Germanier.

She said up until recently she didn’t believe the market was ready for organic wine.

“Until this year we were mostly exporting to Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and to China where we have export accreditation.

“In the local market, people were not ready for organic wine yet.“ She added: “But now I launched the brand because I saw there was a demand and a gap in the market for an organic and vegan wine.”

The Chardonnay 2021 presents aromas of lemon peel, brioche, and butter with hints of wet stones on the nose. Flavours of citrus and brioche follow on the palate accompanied by a nice acidity and creamy palate following through towards the end.

The growing interest in organic wines
Good Natured Organic Chenin Blanc. Picture: Supplied

Spier Good Natured range

Earlier this month, the wine farm showcased its unwavering commitment to organic with a new line of wines. The holistically farmed Good Natured Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz, and Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon arrive as they aim to reach a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.

Each of the four wines – two whites and two reds – is made with fruit grown in organic vineyards free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilisers. The Chenin Blanc 2022 provides enticing notes of quince, citrus, and peach.

Winemaker Tania Kleintjes said: “I believe the winemaking process should involve as little interference as possible. The less we fiddle with nature, the better the results. When nature is in a good place, so is everything. Wine included.”

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