The European Union's Bio label certifies that goods have been produced using organic agriculture instead of aggressive or intensive methods. It distinguishes agricultural and farming systems based on the sustainable creation of quality produce with respect for the natural environment. Wines bearing the label are usually called ecological wines, bio wines or organic wines.
La Montesa 2018
Dido La Universal 2019
Hacienda Monasterio 2018
Vall Dolina Reserva Brut Nature
Adaras Calizo 2019
Atance Cuvée Nº 1 2020
Tanuki Bob 2018
Menade Verdejo 2019
Bermejo Malvasía Seco 2020
Recaredo Terrers Brut Nature 2017
Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2018
Dido Blanc 2019
Lavia Plus 2016
Hacienda Monasterio Reserva 2016
Casar de Burbia Godello Blanco 2019
Foradori Fontanasanta Manzoni Bianco 2020
Gramona Imperial 2015
Parada de Atauta 2017
Collestefano Verdicchio di Matelica 2019
Organic wines in Europe
European directives regarding organic agriculture state that only organic fertilizers can be used and they prohibit the use of chemical products such as synthetic herbicides or insecticides although small amounts of sulphur and copper are permitted. Similar rules apply to the production process in the winery itself with strict limits applied to the quantity of sulphites that can be added to organic wine and the amount of bentonite (a clarifying agent) and acidity correctors allowed are also significantly lower than what is permitted in conventional wine production. Public authorities are in charge of controlling and issuing the official certificates for organic wines which meet all the requirements.
The origins of organic agriculture
The most well-known book by botanist and researcher Sir Albert Howard, 'An Agricultural Testament', tackles his concerns regarding the deterioration and misuse of natural resources. It is generally considered to be one of the starting points for modern organic agriculture processes although organic farming is fundamentally based on traditional and sustainable good agricultural practices.
Biodynamic wines use biodynamic agricultural methods made popular by the work of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and social reformer, who, alongside many other works, drew up the principles of biodynamic faming. According to Steiner, the damage caused by aggressive agricultural methods in use at that time had disconnected people from ecosystems and the cosmos. His ideas and work were designed to revitalize and regenerate the land, providing soil with self-defence mechanisms to eliminate artificial chemical products. He designed biodynamic products using blends of mineral, animal and plant extracts which soon became popular and their use enabled beneficial microorganisms to return and multiply in different kinds of agricultural lands including, of course, vineyards.
The flavour of organic wines
The aim of organic and biodynamic agriculture is to produce healthy products which recreate tastes and flavours from days gone by. For this reason, it is time to reject the idea many people still share that organic wines are sometimes flawed regarding taste and aromas. It is simply not true. In fact, although it is no easy task to distinguish an organic or biodynamic wine from a conventional one, the former may transmit stronger sensations of purity as fewer chemical products are involved in their production, which could distort the true flavours of the grapes and perhaps be harmful for our health.
Much more than a trend
There has been a huge growth in interest for organic and biodynamic products in recent years, perhaps as a reaction to the harm we see our planet suffering faced with dangers such as the climate change. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of how their decisions have consequences for the environment and organic and biodynamic wines are one of the choices we can make to play our part in helping nature.
A controlled and limited use of chemical products on the land and in the winery leads to final products with a more natural and digestible composition as well as being more beneficial for the environment which we will leave for future generations. We consume healthier products and enjoy wines which offer an honest expression of the landscapes they were created in. Organic and biodynamic wines gain fans with every glass and every sip. And this can only be good news for both the environment and winemakers.
Vegan wines are also sometimes labelled as Bio but not always as they are not necessarily produced using organic methods. The Vegan label, issued by the European Vegetarian Union, certifies a wine as a vegan product.