We’ve talked about beer and cocktails, now it’s time to talk about wine! Shopping for wine can be a bit confusing with all of the different variations, let alone if you’re trying to find an organic or all-natural wine! Lucky for you, we’ve done our research on our favorite organic wines to help out our fellow wine lovers on what to look for when shopping for organic wine.
First it’s important to know what organic wine really means. Essentially, it’s wine made without using prohibited ingredients and has the same requirements as any USDA certified organic products. Wine cannot be made with grapes that are grown with synthetic fertilizers or added sulfites, which are used as a preservative. This does not include the sulfites that naturally are produced in wine. Also, vineyards cannot label their grapes as organic until they have been through three growing seasons without chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
There are different levels of organic that you will find at your local wine store. You’ve probably seen the variations like “100% organic” or “made with organic grapes”, but what does it all mean? Bottles that are labeled “100% organic” are made completely with organic ingredients and will have the name of the certifying agency on the bottle, as well as the USDA organic seal. Wines that are labeled simply “organic” means they’re made of 95% organic ingredients and “made with organic grapes” means they’re made with 70% organic ingredients.
You can also opt for a biodynamic wine, or wine that is organic but also comes from a vineyard that uses encourages biodiversity through composting and place a strong emphasis on conserving resources. All biodynamic wines have to be certified by the nonprofit Demeter Association.
Now that you have an idea of what to look for, it’s time to hit your local winery. We’ve chosen five wines with varying price points form different parts of the country to choose from but there are hundreds more out there and from the looks of it, the popularity of organic wine is only growing. If you have one you’d like to add to our list, share with us in the comment box below or post on our Facebook page. We love an excuse to check out a delicious wine.
Frey Vineyards, Organic Natural Red
Frey Vineyards was the first organic winery in the U.S. and also the first to make certified biodynamic wines. Located in Mendocino, CA, Frey Vineyards does not feature sulfites in any of their wines. One that we’ve highlighted is their best-selling Organic Natural Red, a medium bodied and smooth wine.
Badger Mountain, 2012 Vintners Estate Series Syrah
Another earlier adapter to organic wine, Badger Mountain became the first Certified Organic vineyard in Washington State. The Vintners Estate Series is made with certified organically grown grapes with minimal sulfites. The Syrah is an intensely aromatic wine is bursting with blackberry and blueberry flavors.
Trader Joe’s, Well Red
This organic red wine is the only sulfite-free wine at Trader Joe’s and is a blend of Grenache, Sangiovese and a hint of Syrah. At only $5.99 a bottle you can’t beat it! It’s available nation-wide so head over to your local Trader Joe’s to check it out.
Envolve Winery, 2011 Envolve Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc
You may notice the founder of this winery Ben Flajnik from ABC’s The Bachelor; he also makes a mean organic wine. The winery he founded with friends, Envolve Winery, is both organic and biodynamic or sustainably farmed. The Sauvignon Blanc nicknamed the “Patio Pounder” because it’s so easy to drink, sounds delicious!
Shelburne Vineyard, Lake View White
Tucked away in Shelburne, Vermont, Shelburne Vineyard is the winner of the 2009 Sustainable Agricultural Farm of the Year by the University of Vermont. Their Lake View White is a blend of Cayuga, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer and has a subtle sweetness with a crisp finish.