of "Organic" Wines - Part 2
Part 1 of our two-part series on organic wines, we
explored the various practices used in an organic vineyard.
In Part 2, we will look at the techniques employed
in the winery itself in producing organic wines.
Because the building that houses the winery must
be built in a certain way to produce wines organically,
to “go organic” should be made prior to the construction
of the actual winery. This will become clearer as we
delve further into the process.
There are many stages involved in converting harvested
grapes into wine. These stages vary depending upon
whether the grapes are white or red, and on the wine
personal style and preferences, but generally, the
stages appear like this:
grapes are crushed.
•The crushed grapes (known as “must”) are de-stemmed.
•Primary fermentation of the juice begins.
•Secondary fermentation occurs.
•Finally, the fermented juice (wine) is moved to
barrels (for reds and some whites) or tanks
(most whites) for
In a conventional winery, the grapes are processed
through these stages by mechanical means, such
as the electronic
pump over systems commonly seen during fermentation.
However, in an organic environment, the grapes
are moved through these stages by the use of
gravity. To accomplish
this, the different staging areas in an organic
are usually situated in a sequential, descending
fashion. For this reason, many organic wineries
are built on
a hillside to best utilize the forces of gravity.
interesting to note that many conventional wineries
also utilize gravity systems for economic reasons.)
In an organic winery, the barrel room is typically
underground to maintain the necessary temperatures
without the use
of electricity. The owners will often plant
wild flowers and other plants on top of the barrel
it is a cave) to provide for natural ventilation
toxic gases that are natural byproducts of
wine making process.
An organic winery will also use only biodegradable
products to clean equipment and facilities.
Because only natural
processing is allowed, no sulfur is used
to preserve the wine and no dry ice, chemicals,
with electronic cooling systems are used
wine cool during
From the vineyard to the winery, there is
obviously more than meets the eye in the
While we’ve just touched on the highlights
in our two-part series, a trip to Wines
with a more comprehensive picture, along
with the opportunity to sample the best
from our broad selection.