This is a question that comes up very often during our oenology courses at Sensation Vin.
For many years, wine was produced organically and finally organic wine did not exist. Today, it exists, we now speak of “organic wine” but only for a few years. In the past, wine was made from grapes that were grown in a specific area, but it was the vines that were grown organically. Today, the principle has been extended to winemaking, to maturing, that is to say to the elaboration of wines.
What is an organic wine?
For a long time now, organic viticulture has been classically contrasted with conventional viticulture, organic wine with others.
In organic farming, the various treatment products used in the vineyard and used in the winemaking process are of organic, natural origin.
On the other hand, for the others, the products used can be the same as for organic but also synthesized in the laboratory.
In France, many studies show that more than half of the French people wrongly consider that an organic wine is a wine made from a vine that has not had any treatment against diseases, pests… However, in organic viticulture, treatments are as numerous as for the others, and one must be very careful because the products used are preventive products, which must be applied before any disease or pest appears in the vine.
Is organic wine better than others?
To find out, nothing beats the blind tasting test. It is therefore sufficient to taste a series of wines, taking care to hide the labels. In the end, it is impossible to distinguish organic wines from others… This type of tasting has been practiced for a very long time and has never highlighted one type of wine over another.
Making organic is not simple
Deciding to make an organic wine is not just a matter of eliminating synthetic treatment products. To make an organic wine, you need help and a great deal of knowledge about the cultivation of the vine, its diseases and all the possible problems that can jeopardize the harvest of ripe and healthy grapes. It is also necessary to have extensive knowledge about the soil, the subsoil and the microbial life that resides in it.
Organic farming is not done overnight, all this requires a lot of investment in time and a great deal of presence in the vineyard.
As for biodynamism, it is a particular form of bio, biodynamists have banned massive treatments. Their treatments are often based on plant infusion, decoction and the quantities applied to the vine are minimal.
But whether it is the biodynamic method, the organic method or the conventional method, all winegrowers, winemakers and technicians have better knowledge today. They often anticipate possible problems rather than fighting when they are there.