What’s So Special About Organic Wine?
There are special winemaking methods that vignerons like to put in the spotlight. If a bottle of sparkling wine has been made using the Traditional Method, you can bet this will be featured on the bottle label because it’s the most painstaking and prestigious way to make bubbly. Likewise, if a wine has been made with old vines, you’ll notice this term because, when cared for properly, older vineyards produce top-quality fruit and wine.
The same thinking goes for organic wine. Producing a wine organically takes substantial effort, is healthier than normal wine, and is kind to the environment. No wonder a winemaker proudly tells the world when their wine is organic!
Cantina del Vesuvio is a winery that’s always been characterized by the production of high-quality organic wines. In this newsletter, we’re going to look at what exactly organic wine is, how this style of production is implemented across our line of reds and whites, and why we like to brag about it!
What is Organic Wine?
The answer is simple. Organic wine is made from grapes grown in vineyards cultivated with organic methods.
Does it taste better than conventionally produced wine? There’s no short answer to this question. Organic grapes are superior quality but much of the decision-making about a wine’s profile takes place in the winery. Skilled vignerons can tease out the finest qualities of their grapes (whether organic or not) according to the style they’re making. That said, the advantage of organic wine (as with organic food) is there’s a lower risk of traces of unpleasant chemicals. In short, it’s healthier to drink. Organically-made wines also display a purity and faithful reflection of their vineyards – and when your vineyards are as distinguished as ours, it’s important to honor their characters! At Cantina del Vesuvio we’re meticulous in the vineyard and winery, resulting in terroir-expressive wines of depth and finesse.
There’s no international umbrella body defining the criteria for organic farming. The framework varies from country to country. That said, a consistent feature of organic viticulture is the banning of artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.
To become officially certified as an organic winery, a producer has to undergo a phase of conversion from conventional viticulture and fulfill strict standards.
Notably, not every winery that produces organic wine has official certification. Many wineries farm organically because it’s part of their tradition or because they’re located in warm, dry areas that are naturally suited to organic viticulture.
Sustainability and Net-zero farming
What is net-zero farming? It’s the response to the issue of greenhouse gases emitted from the sector. Much of these emissions come from energy and equipment use and chemicals from fertilizers.
At Cantina del Vesuvio, we’re proud to say all our organic products have zero impact on the environment. We cultivate our olive trees and vineyards using techniques that respect biodiversity, the environment, and our terrain.
One example of the sustainable cultivation techniques we practice is in using leguminous plants such as field beans and alfalfa as a substitute for nitrogen fertilization. Nitrogen fertilizers represent a problem for the environment because only a part of the nitrogen is absorbed by the plant, while the rest remains in the ground causing groundwater pollution problems. The leguminous plants have the characteristic of releasing nitrogen more slowly, with significant benefits for the vineyards and zero impact on the environment.
Respect for Our Unique Location
Our winery is located within a unique part of Sicily: the "Vesuvius National Park". This protected area opened in 1995 and comprises 8,482 hectares of land surrounding Mount Vesuvius boasting naturalistic, geological, volcanological, and archaeological characteristics. The overall aim is to preserve animal and plant species, fauna systems, biological communities and biotopes, and more for the ecological balance of the Vesuvius area. To this end, environmental management and restoration methods that integrate manmade and natural processes are implemented. It’s the perfect place to produce organic wine!
Sustainability and respect for the environment are both close to our hearts and contribute to the production of healthy and high-quality wines. The philosophy that guides us is respect for the environment, biodiversity, the cycles of nature, and our commitment to maintaining the particular characteristics of this territory we call home. The cultivation techniques we use have been chosen not only for their sustainability and for their effectiveness in producing very high-quality wines but also because they enable us to maintain the uniqueness of this territory.
We feel it’s our responsibility to preserve it so that it can be enjoyed by both current and future generations.
So now you know all about our organic wine, we hope you enjoy your next glass!