German wines are going through some changes in both winemaking and labeling. Production of organic and biodynamic German wines is on the rise, and some winemakers have banded together to institute a new voluntary classification system that will be more approachable for the consumer.
There’s no better way to stir up a heated argument with serious wine lovers than introduce natural wine, organic wine, or sulfites into the discussion.
Yesterday, the European Union published a press release saying it had reached agreement on rules governing organic wine, meaning that instead of just saying «"made with organic grapes," wines made under these rules will now be able to bear the official appellation of "organic wine" on their labels.
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our fifth piece comes from columnist W. Blake Gray, exploring the idiosyncrasies of how the wine world defines sustainability.
In late January, Amy Corron Power and Rémy Charest both attended the Millésime Bio organic wine fair in Montpellier, France. With some 550 organic and biodynamic certified producers from all over the world, it is the largest professional event dedicated solely to organic wines. Coming to the event with very different experiences of the world of organic wine, Remy and Amy confront their respective visions of these « green » wines.
Sulfites are not a black and white issue and I am certainly not suggesting that all wines should be made with no added sulfites. What I am enthusiastic about is breaking through the industry myth that wines made with minimal sulfites are of a lesser quality or are only for short term drinking.