The Spring Equinox is almost upon us and that can only mean one thing….it must be ORGANIC WINE WEEK!
The word equinox roughly translates as equal night. A time in the year when the daytime hours equal the night-time hours. It is an astrological marker for the change in season, symbolizing new growth and a new harvest. And more importantly it is a time when the daytime hours will soon extend, and the promise of summer is within our reach. And in a year like this Covid ravished one…we are certainly keen to celebrate that!
Now in its fourth year, Organic Wine Week is a seven-day celebration around the September equinox that tells the New Zealand wine story and its journey into the vibrant world of Organics, with its many positive impacts on our ecosystems, and of course our health. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring people together, to educate them and to sample the wonders of New Zealand’s Organic Wines.
We have a wide range of Organic Wines available online and in our stores from some of New Zealand's top producers like Dog Point, Te Whare Ra, Millton, Quartz Reef, Villa Maria the list goes on!
To find them type Organic into our Smart Search bar on our homepage, or Vegan if you’re looking to buy vegan friendly wines…it’s not just wine either – there’s a plethora of drinks made in an organic manner these days, in fact we predict one day it will be the norm!
Clive Dougall, chair of Organic Winegrowers New Zealand says “Over the last 12 months we have seen a massive upswing in demand for organic wine. Consumer awareness is increasing as more and more people want to know where the product they are choosing comes from, how it’s grown and the impact it has on the environment".
We are seeing this here at Fine Wine Delivery too. Customers are placing more and more value on what is in their wine, how it was made, and where it comes from.
Numerous research studies show that organically grown grapes are much healthier, and wine made from these grapes have higher concentrations of the good stuff like antioxidants – including polyphenols and the cardio friendly resveratrol.
And naturally, they have far fewer nasty additives – we are not just talking about the pesticides and herbicides here. They are also lower in sulphites, and cellar additives like colorings or flavorings, so are lower in added sugar too – great news for headache sufferers!
There is always a lot of talk about low sulphite wines, and of course a lot of misconceptions too. Sulphur dioxide occurs as a by product of the fermentation process and may be required as an additive during the winemaking process, or in the finished wine to preserve it from oxidation. However, the extremely low levels found in wine are in the parts per million, or sometimes the parts per billion even! Wine has levels of sulphites that are ten times less than dried fruit for example and medical studies show that there is less than 1% of the population who would react to sulphites – mostly extreme asthma sufferers. It is far more likely to be histamines, high levels of sugar, dehydration and of course that obvious one – alcohol, that you are reacting to!
The other motivating factor for us to support Organics as a retailer is the growing appetite and investment led by the wineries and growers themselves.
There are a few motivations for this but none more important than their duty as custodians of the land to nurture it for future generations, to provide better soils that produce better grapes, and to make a better wine, one that is a true reflection of its terroir.
Obviously, there are health benefits for themselves and their staff with fewer herbicides and pesticides to handle, making it a more attractive career option.
They are of course motivated by you as consumers too, and your increasing demand for a more sustainable wine. And this increasing demand is a global trend, with many of our largest export markets like the UK and US almost expecting some level of sustainability as a given - especially from a ‘clean green’ country like New Zealand. And while there are varying levels of sustainability that resonate with consumers, it seems the universal language of Organics is emerging as the one truth people can relate to and understand.
So, why are people identifying with Organics?
The concept of Organics has been around for a long time, and is used in many other agricultural applications, so it is better understood by the wider public.
Organic winemaking produces something that must reflect the place the grapes were grown. It aims to take care of the land for future generations by not using synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides. It relies on using natural products only. It focuses on growing healthy vines, produced from healthy soils. And it does this by nurturing a diverse, rich community of plants, soil, insects and microorganisms that co-exist together in their natural balance.
What is the difference between being Organic and Biodynamic?
Biodynamics follows all the same principals as Organics it just takes things one step further to follow the astrological influences set out by Rudolf Steiner. This principal affirms the importance the moon plays – just as it does in affecting tides, it also affects the rhythms of planting, growing and harvesting.
Why Drink Organic? The benefits are numerous;
• To better understand what you are consuming - Organic wines are produced with the support of natural and biological products only. No synthetic chemicals are used.
• Making great wine starts in the vineyard - Organic producers work to produce the healthiest possible grapevines. This results in flavourful wines, a true expression of the land.
• Protect our land for future generations - The many ecological benefits of organic practices include healthy soils, healthy waterways, biodiversity, and a safe place for bees and other beneficial insects.
• Better vineyard worker health – Chemical based pesticides have been proven to have harmful effects on the skin & respiratory systems. Organic production provides a safe and happy work environment for hard-working staff.
• Support climate change - Organic farms do not use fossil fuel-based fertilisers. They also store more carbon in soils, doing their part to counteract climate change.
So buy your organic wine online with Fine Wine Delivery and support Organic Wine Week from September 20th to 26th. Take this opportunity to educate yourself a little, talk to the Winemakers about their motivations to go Organic, and support some fantastic Kiwi Wineries.