Trials and Triboozations: Organic Wine

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Ximena E. from Miami asks:

Why isn’t there more organic wine on the market?

Hi Ximena! Organic wine is a tricky subject. The requirements for certification differ based on the country but are especially stringent here in the United States. There cannot be any use of synthetic chemicals both in the vineyard and in the winemaking. Most notably, winemakers cannot add sulfites either, an essential preservative that has been used in winemaking for centuries (by contrast the European Union allows a limited amount in their organic certification). As a result, only about ten percent of wine produced in the US is certified organic.

I don’t think that winemakers are uninterested in organic winemaking. However, the restriction on sulfites does make certification impossible for many US wines. Plenty of quality winemakers and growers actually do grow grapes based on organic principles and the acreage of organic vineyards increases every year. If you are interested in consuming more wines that are farmed and produced according to organic principles, and not necessarily certified, ask your local wine shop. Knowledgeable sales associates should be able to point you in the right direction.

Answered by: Amy Zhou