Sulphites in Wine: perspective from winemakers

Posted on February 22, 2017 by Dimitri Safonov | 0 comments

Sulphites in wine: perspective from our passionate winemakers

We have been covering this very important health subject of sulphites in wine since we've started Organic Wine Club. In fact, we have probably covered almost everything that is there to be said about natural wines with no added sulphites. Yet after just another set of interesting tasting events with our winemakers, we've decided to ask them why no added sulphites wines are important to them. 

Some health factors are proven to be beneficial

Sulphites in wine are important to consider for health reasons, to alleviate allergy symptoms and to help people suffering from asthma (they are the most sensitive to sulphites and start noticing it when the concentration is above 45 mg/l).

Many people ask us whether these natural wines are better or worse because the wine is made without added sulphites.

Organic viticulture and winemaking permits the usage of sulphites yet limits its concentration to 100 mg/l generally.

For many people it is great to be sure that there is no excessive amount of added sulphites that they are drinking with their wines as conventional wines can contain 2x, 3x, 4x easily!

Natural wines made with no added sulphites are not treated with preservatives and, as winemakers say, if the process has been done correctly, there is no reason why you can’t produce natural wine and make it truly delicious. Of course you need to ensure enough levels of hygiene and 'coolness' of the process so all these delicate flavours will be kept in your bottle.

No Added Sulphites Wines are gaining popularity

In our recent tasting of Abel Mendoza wines, the winemaker revealed that for them it was a true coincidence. They have allocated a part of their vineyard to grow the grapes for this no added sulphites wine, It has been 3 years since they’ve started doing that and so far pleased with the result. We’ve reviewed their no added sulphites wine before and must add now that our customers love how fresh this Rioja wine tastes like, it is such a elegant style of the modern Rioja.

What about the taste?

Pierre Frick from a very well-known organic winery in Alsace also added that sulphites in conventional wines bring a specific smell and taste of sulphur, which is sometimes mistakenly identified as minerality. The latter is being recognised by critics as a true representation of a quality wine as it showcases the soil and winemaking region the best. Thus the wines produced without added sulphites can express true or pure minerality and reflect the identity of the wine better. More expressive wines are so delicious. 

What about agriculture and environmental impact?

Dr Alessandro de Stefani, Managing Director and Oenologist Wine Maker behind Redentore brand has said that 'every good agricultural producer should turn to natural production in the next 10 years'. He treats natural winemaking as a holistic concept and his company uses solar panels (thankfully there is plenty of sunshine just outside of Venice in Italy), natural indigenous yeasts from their own vineyards and hygienic processes throughout. 

Those ‘morning after’ headaches

wine headache - morning after - sulphites in wine

When talking to representatives of Bodegas Bernabe Navarro winery at one of the recent tasting events, I’ve asked them why have they decided to produce natural wines with no added sulphites. The answer was in line with what most of our customers are wondering about - they do claim that there is a difference between two men who drank 2 bottles of wine for dinner: one drank conventional and second without added sulphites. They both are going to be tipsy or even drunk (please drink responsibly and follow the guidelines). Yet the one who drank wine made without added sulphites would feel much better the next morning. They clearly like their wines and commit to their statement that those wines are simply healthier.  

We’ve tried their Tragolargo 2014 wine made by Rafa Bernabe and it was rich and round, so worth trying. We do have more wines from this amazing organic winery that produces natural wines with no added sulphites and no filtration. Plenty for you to explore! 

Winemakers could not be wrong! Consider the effect of sulphites in wine

If you are wondering, simply have your own trial - we've composed a mini order of 3 wines with no added sulphites that you can get for your own test drive. Will you feel better and lighter? Will you agree that the wines are expressive and very tasty to drink? Please let us know.

P.S. Read more in our guides to natural wines with no added sulphites: 7 Myths about Natural Wines; learn more about Wine Intolerances; Sulfite free wines: what and for whom are they?

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