Understanding Organic Wine Labels

Understanding organic wine labels and the ingredients you are consuming.

| September/October 2005

Ever wonder what you’re really drinking when you buy organic wine—or even if your wine’s organic in the first place? Some organic wines don’t advertise that fact on the label—in part because organic vintages of yesteryear didn’t live up to taste expectations. Here’s your guide to the somewhat confusing terms on the bottle. (Hint: The only difference between a 100 percent and 95 percent organic wine may be whether it was fermented with yeast.)

Label: 100 percent Organic

What it means: All ingredients must be 100 percent organic, which means no pesticides or herbicides prohibited by the National Organic Program. Makers may not add sulfites. (Because sulfites occur naturally in wine, "organic" doesn't mean sulfite free.)

Who certifies it: Vineyard and winery are USDA accredited. Many display the "USDA Organic" seal.

Drink itCoturri WineryOrganic Wine Works 

Label: Organic

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