Grapes are one of the most heavily sprayed crops. They get massive doses of pesticides: herbicides, insecticides, or fungicides, and so do you when you drink them. That might be one reason why more and more consumers are seeking organic wines and why more and more wineries are getting on the organic bandwagon and offering toxic-free wines. In fact, it seems vintners are discovering wines with less ‘cides offer deeper, richer, cleaner flavors. Moreover, organic wines have no added sulfites, and wine connoisseurs claim they have distinct terroir characteristics.
If you’re interested in giving your nostrils and taste buds a non-toxic sulfite-free treat, here’s the organic list:
- Badger Mountain Vineyard, 1-800-543-WINE. This winery in Washington state offers a series of tasty wines: Chardonnay, Sevé, Cabernet/Merlot, Rosé, and Syrah.
- Benzinger Family Winery, 1-800-989-8890. Benzinger wines are not only organic but also include biodynamic farming techniques where they pay close attention to the varied forces of nature influencing the vine, and then produce a wonderful portfolio of wines. Check out their selection.
- Bonterra Vineyards, 1-707-237-3461. This winery is committed to creating world-class wines that are distinct and organically grown. They are located in Mendocino County and produce Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnays, Merlots, Muscats, Roussannes, Sauvignon Blancs, Syrahs, Viogniers, and Zinfandels.
- Frog’s Leap, 1-800-959-4704. This winery located in Napa Valley has some marvelous tasty wines that are some of my favorites. They sell Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Zinfandels, Merlots, Cabernets, Petite Sirahs, Rutherfords, and Pinks, but they’re even better because they’re all organic.
- Four Chimneys Organic Winery, 1-607-24-7502. This New York winery was the first winery to go organic, and did so in 1980. They offer a selection of dry white, dry red, semi-dry and off-dry, semi-sweet, and sweet wines.
- Frey Vineyards, 1-800-760-3739. Frey Vineyards offers organic and biodynamic wines, and they’ll let you taste test. They’re located in Mendocino County, which by the way has more certified organic wineries than anywhere else in the nation.
- Grgich Hills, 1-800-532-3057. We met Mr. Grgich in 1996. He’s was a great old guy with a beret and many interesting tales. He also makes some great wines. I particularly love his dessert wine, Violetta. It’s so nummy.
- Jeriko Estate, 1-707-744-1140. This winery located in Mendocino County won top awards for the first sparkling organic wine in 2004 and took “best of show” in 2006. They now produce nine varietals of wine: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Brut and Rosé.
- Nuova Cappelletta, +39 0142 933135. This winery is located in Italy and has been certified organic for over twenty years.
- Robert Sinskey Vineyards, 1-707-944-9090. Their fine Napa wines—Pinot Blancs, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noirs, Merlots, Cabernet Francs, Reserves, and Cabernet Sauvignons—are certified organic. If you want to stop by and taste these wines, they’re open everyday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They’ll also provide tours by appointment.
- Robinvale Organic Wines, 03 50263955. Located north-west of Melbourne in Australia, Robinvale wines come in a variety, including Table, Sparkling, Fortified, Organic, Bio-Dynamic, and Preservative-Free Wines.
- Snoqualmie Vineyard Wines, 1-800-852-0885. This Washington State winery has been producing award-winning wines for two decades, and their Naked Wines (as they call them) are organic. Current vintages include a Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Rosé, and Gewurztraminer.
- The Organic Wine Company, 1-888-ECO-WINE. This company offers world-class organically grown wines from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, California, New Zealand, Argentina, and Chile. They also offer a “100% satisfaction guarantee.”
If you want more information about organic wines:
- IntoWine is a website that offers collective knowledge and experience from the wine community in one place. They also have contributors from nearly all walks of “wine life” including sommeliers, chefs, bartenders, waiters, wine industry professionals, wine producers, as well as a gaggle of super enthusiasts. If you’re interested drop by their site, join up, and see what they have to say about organic wines.
- KensWineGuide is a web site that offers organic wine recommendations.
- The World’s Top Organic Wines. This book gives you the skinny on fifty-one organic wines from twelve countries, including fifteen varietals and twenty-three blends.
- Wild Wines: Creating Organic Wines from Nature’s Garden. If you’re thinking you want to create your own organic wines, here’s a book that will help. You can make everything from blackberry or cherry wines to huckleberry or grape. So, go Wild!