ORGANIC WINE-MAKING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
A wine is organic when it is made following eco-friendly practices throughout the entire production process, from planting the grape to bottling. However, you should know that natural wines are not the same as organic wines. In this article, we want to show you the process of organic wine-making so you know what type of product you are consuming when you purchase one of these wines.
Certifications and regulations for organic production
Organic production is a way of producing food while taking into account the preservation of the environment, natural resources and animal welfare. It must also be achieved through natural processes and materials.
According to the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, organic production does not use chemical products, such as fertilisers or pesticides, throughout the entire production chain. This means that organic or sustainable wine-making must adhere to these processes, although there are several other details it must also comply with, which are regulated by national and European legislation.
The EU has therefore recently updated (January 2022) the regulation that governs organic agriculture ((EU) 2018/848). In this way, any wine wanting to label itself as “organic wine” must comply with this regulation, as well as those set out by a recognised organic certifier. Should the product be approved by the certifier, it may carry the EU organic logo or be labelled as organic wine.
The EU organic logo for wine, also known as the “Euroleaf”, has existed since 2010. This shows that the wine complies with the EU’s organic regulations. It is mandatory and appears together with the number code of the control authority.
Making organic wine
Organic wine begins with the cultivation of the grape. In compliance with European legislation, winegrowers making this type of wine cannot use chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides in the treatment and cultivation of the vine. They may only use natural products.
Unlike US law, European legislation does permit the adding of sulphites in the organic wine-making process. These help to preserve the wine for longer; however there are maximum amounts that can be used:
- Organic red wine can contain a maximum of 100 mg of sulphites per litre.
- White or rosé wine can contain a maximum of 150 mg/l.
On the other hand, when employing the clarification technique (adding a substance to the wine that drags suspended elements to the bottom), the clarifying agents must be certified as organic.
In summary, the main characteristics required of organic wine-making are:
- Use of organically cultivated grapes
- Use of eco-friendly wine-making techniques and processes
- Use of organic or natural additives
El Coto Organic
El Coto Crianza Organic is our latest wine to be launched that considers those consumers who are concerned with caring for the environment, and who at the same time wish to enjoy a fine Crianza wine.
This wine has two characteristics that set it apart from others in the category. On the one hand, we must highlight what an organic Crianza is, as most organic wines on the market today are young wines. On the other, we should note that it also comes in sustainable packaging. All materials used to produce the bottles and labels have been selected with sustainability criteria in mind.
El Coto Crianza Organic 2019 was made at our certified installations following EU organic legislations. At El Coto de Rioja we have been developing initiatives to reduce our environmental impact for years, and very soon we will be adding more. We’ll keep you updated!
Now, if you want to try our organic wine, check out the link to our online store below. You can also find it in most well-known supermarkets. Here is another link with more information on the differences between organic, natural and biodynamic wines: