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What are the rules foreseen in the cultivation of the organic vineyard and in the harvest. Let's talk about organic wines, sulphites and additives.
THE organic wines come from vineyards grown according to the system ofbiological agriculture. Not only is the cultivation of the vineyard governed by the legislation on organic farming, even the entire processing of the must must be carried out in compliance with certain standards.
THE organic wines contribute to making the environment cleaner and safer for the flora and fauna of the vineyards: organic farming has a positive impact on the conservation of biodiversity.
To produce organic wine you have to follow a good number of rules but, in the end, your efforts are always rewarded by the excellent result!
Organic wines: the rules of vineyard cultivation
With the term "biological agriculture"we mean an agronomic technique that avoids the intensive use of chemicals such as systemic pesticides, massive fertilizations and banned plant protection products. How is the vineyard managed with organic farming treated?Organic farming allows the use of natural pesticides such as pyrethrum and copper-based fungicides. The cultivation of the organic vineyard requires the following rules:
- In the production ofl organic wine the first step is to start the cultivation oforganic grapes.
- No herbicides are used at the base of the vineyard where a dense lawn is allowed to grow.
- The sowing of the lawn must be carried out using only biological mixtures, generally these mixtures consist of legumes and grasses. They are used to prevent the growth of weeds.
- The vineyard must be treated with natural pesticide methods, without aggressive chemical devices such as systemic insecticides.
- The treatments must only include the use of herbal medicines allowed in organic farming.
- For the care of the organic vineyardgreen light for potassium, sulfur, copper, sodium silicate and biological control.
- Biological control is carried out, if necessary, with natural microorganisms such as Ampelomyces quisqualis and Bacillus thuringiensis.
- The soil must be fertilized with a mixed organic product, coming from the maceration of officinal herbs. No artificial fertilizers, no forcing, only natural fertilization of the soil.
The management of the organic vineyardit's peculiar. For example, pruning must be performed to facilitate the aeration of the bunches and not to maximize production as it occurs in intensive production. Ventilation prevents the taking root of molds and diseases, which is why pruning has a double importance in organic farming: not being able to use intensive preventive treatments, it becomes mandatory to prevent diseases with good practices.
The harvest of organic wine: grape processing
After having complied with all the rules that the cultivation of the organic vineyard, you have to wait for the ripening of the grapes which usually takes place at the end of October, that's when the ripe grapes areharvest.
To proceed with the processing of organic wine you have to follow several rules such as:
- Grapes destined for organic wine can be treated with chemical additives but to a lesser extent than conventional wine.
- For the stabilization of the organic wine you can add i sulphitesbut the regulation provides for maximum limits.
- The use of sulfur dioxide (sulphites) is allowed even just after harvesting. This container is used to better preserve overripe grapes and protect them from oxidation.
- The use of yeast in the fermentation oforganic grapesgenerally applies are in difficult conditions.
In color stabilization and tartaric stabilization, the use of different components is allowed. As explained in Annex VIII a of Reg. (EC) no.
203/2012, in the harvest of organic winethe use of ametatartaric acid or gum arabic for tartaric stabilization.
The legislation on the production oforganic wineit is still very controversial today. The question ofsulphites in organic wine. The amount of sulphites added in organic winessees maximum roofs. For example, for i organic red winesthe maximum concentration limit in the finished product is 100 mg / l.
If this seems a contradiction to you, know that until 2010 a producer could grow grapes organically and then, during the harvest, add any chemical additive!
Organic wine without sulphites
In commerce it is possible to findorganic wines without sulphiteswhere fermentation is supported by elements that replace sulfur dioxide. these elements are obtained using the same grape skins and a natural preparation based on vitamin C.
For all information on organic wines without sulphites added, I refer you to the dedicated page: wines without sulphites.