What is really organic wine?
As I mentioned in the first article of this series “Good for the Soul and the Environment“, one of the main differences between EU organic wine certification and American organic wine certification is the use of sulfites. Castello di Tassarolo Wines are one of the few producers in Europe that does not use sulfites and they use biodiverse methods of growing and production.
The decision and process is explained by owner and grower, Henry Finzi, in the above video.
No Sulfites In European Organic Wine
The decision to be different than the general EU Organic Wine Market and not put sulfites in their wine is explained to journalist W. Blake Gray in his Feb.2014 article “America vs. Europe: The Organic Divide” . Massimiliana Spinola, another owner and winemaker states: “It’s difficult for me to taste the other wines (at the Millésime Bio, the huge organic wine trade show in Montpellier, France). I get all the sulfites in the nose. The wines taste bitter.” They also felt that because sulfites are considered to be an allergen they did not want to be the cause for a person’s suffering. Wine should be enjoyable to all.
Like other organic estates, they do not use pesticides, anti-mould sprays, chemical fertilizers or desiccant which kills the grass around the vines, but also poisons the natural water sources. They use natural treatments like pure sulphur and copper mixed with lime, green manure and a variety of biodynamic preparations. Being a biodynamic vineyard might seem like it is harder than being a regular vineyard, but according to Henry Finzi their wines have never tasted better and their soil is much healthier.
The vineyard’s philosophy is “respect for nature, the Earth, the environment of the people on the farm, of the plants, trees, animals, insects and not least the people whom consume our wines and all those that work and collaborate with us… Respect can only exist when one listens and hears nature speak and from this is born biodynamic agriculture… The secret is to develop an understanding of nature and the mystery of its forces in the search to work with nature’s laws. Biodynamic agriculture is a positive response to the modern industrial farming methods that leave the Earth devoid of vitality and life. Modern agriculture is seen to represent the lack of a certain spirituality in today’s society. Wines made from biodynamic agriculture result from this respectful collaboration between man and the Earth, and like all the products made from biodynamic agriculture brings health and wellbeing. This is most important for the estate: to bring wellbeing from cultivating the Earth with care and respect of the consumer”.
So next time you are looking to buy wine or gift wine try going with something from the Castello di Tassarolo label . Alternately, if you happen to be in Italy and would like to go on an interesting wine tour or learn how to make wine organically, Castello di Tassarolo definitely fits the bill. Plus, if their fascinating farming methods and delicious wines are not enough to convince you, check out their stunning wine tasting room.
Next time we will highlight the Tishbi Wine label that has come up with a great way to help the environment and save its customers some money.
Until then be good to your soul and the environment, enjoy a nice glass of sustainable, biodynamic or organic wine!