Eco Friendly Wine Explained
Feel Good Grapes wants to champion the best wines from the best eco-friendly and forward thinking practices around the globe. This page is dedicated to helping you all understand a little bit more about the plethora of sometimes confusing terms that are used to give you a bit more nowse before heading to that checkout!
These are very brief definitions as the full wording can send you all cross eyed if you're not careful. If you want to find out more about any of these terms then feel free to click on the links provided or get in touch with us using the form at the bottom and we'll answer any questions and queries we can.
Maybe the simplest one to kick off with, organic wine (as you'd all expect) shuns the use of agrochemical pesticides and herbicides and fertilisers in the vineyards, and in turn uses only pre-approved organically produced sprays to manage pests and diseases throughout the year.
Get in touch with us for more in depth info, or click here to visit the Soil Association, the UK's organic certification body.
Based on the teachings of Rudolph Steiner in 1920s Austria, biodynamics builds on organics, focusing on building an all nurturing and protective eco system where vines and other plants build up their own immune system to combat pests and diseases using naturally developed composts and "treatment" sprays to promote this.
An addition here is the use of the lunar cycle to guide the producer on when to spray, pick, prune, and even taste!
Often the butt of many jokes in the eco-wine world, for many years "sustainability" was a throw away term producers used if they simply recycled their milk bottles!
Thanks, however, to global efforts to define sustainability, lead by New Zealand, California, Chile, and France, we now have a solid definition for sustainable viticulture, based on your vineyard practices, energy usage, economic viability, and protection of your workers.
A movement that's gained devoted followers since a real drive in the 1960s in Beaujolais, natural wine is another term without one true definition.
This is wine made mostly from grapes that are organically or biodynamically farmed, but most importantly have nothing added to them in the wine making process. They use native yeasts to ferment, don't filter or fine the wines, and avoid adding additional sulphur or other chemicals.
Certifed vs. Non-Certifed
One of the more difficult issues with using regulated terms like "organic" or "biodynamic" is that the producer has to go through the certification process with a registered association, which takes a number of years, and they've got to pay for it.
Some producers will be noted as "using organic practices" if they're not certified, either if they're in the set 3 year conversion period, or they refuse to pay for certification.