From The Connexion:
Winegrowers will soon be able to offer 100% organic wine after the publication of a European Union decree which sets out a new definition of organic wine.
At the moment, organic wine does not exist in Europe; only “wine made from organic grapes” or vin issu des raisins biologiques in France.
Now the EU Standing Committee on Organic Farming has extended the organic label – and the new organic logo – to the whole wine-making process if vintners meet certain standards. It will apply from the 2012 harvest.
Winegrowers will still be able to use sulphites as an “antiseptic” to kill off bacteria in the wine, but levels will be much less than for standard wine. Reduced to 100mg per litre for red wine and 150mg/l for white and rosé, which are 50mg/l less than for standard wine.
The addition of sorbic acid will be banned as will desulfurication.
The new rules say winegrowers will also have to specify on the label if eggs or milk are used to clarify the wine.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development Dacian Ciolos stated: “It was important to establish harmonised rules guaranteeing a clear offer to consumers who are more and more interested in organic products.
“I am pleased that we emerge with rules which make a clear difference between conventional and organic wine – as is the case with other organic products. As a result, consumers can be sure that any “organic wine” will have been produced using stricter production rules.”
The number of organic winegrowers in France has doubled in three years and it now makes up 6% of sales.
However, across Europe only 75,000 of the 3.5 million hectares of vineyards are organic.