You might have heard it through the grapevine: Back-to-the-earth methods of winemaking are in. Whether rich reds, crisp whites or blushing rosés — organic, natural and biodynamic wine options abound. Read on to get a quick primer of what separates them from their conventionally crafted peers, then check out our wine experts’ top picks made with organic grapes. Prost!
What makes organic wine organic?
Wines that are labeled organic must be made with 95% organically produced ingredients, most notably organic grapes grown without the use of toxic persistent pesticides. In fact, there are many requirements to gain organic certification, such as that wines must be produced without GMOs and without synthetic fertilizers. Plus, no added sulfites are allowed: Organic wines must contain under 10 ppm of naturally occurring sulfites. Whole Foods Market always requires proof of organic certification for wines making organic and “made with organic grapes” claims.
What about wines “made with organic grapes”?
This label focuses specifically on the grapes as the key differentiator. Like their organic wine cousins, these wines are made from grapes grown without toxic persistent pesticides, GMOs and synthetic fertilizers. However, added sulfites are allowed, but only at limited levels depending on the type of wine.
Favorite Wines Made With Organic Grapes
Let’s take a recess from the technical side and get into some fun tasting notes. Read on for 14 of our curated picks. You’re sure to find a vino love-match.
Black Box Rosé
Party-sized and perfect for sharing. Notes of strawberries, watermelon and white peach, served cold, will have you saving pours for yourself.
Stella Rosa Rosso
Brachetto and Barbera grapes elevate this Italian import to a dinner table must-have. Notes of mandarin and blood orange complement fruit-based desserts.
Giol Rubino Frizzante
This dry sparkling red pops with berry notes and zippy tannins, with a Morello cherry aroma. Produced from ancient Italian Raboso grapes, it’s best served chilled.
Pizzolato Fields Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut
Celebrate fall colors with this prosecco rosé pleaser. Fifth-generation winemaker Settimo Pizzolato delivers delicate aromas of white flowers, apple and pear.
Biokult Grüner Veltliner
From Austria’s Burgenland, this Qualitätswein-designated white will impress at your next soirée. The bracing acidity and lime zest complement any Asian dish.
This well-balanced rosé makes for a beautiful fall. A delicate, pink salmon hue carries notes of grapefruit, blood orange and Earl Grey tea. Crisply comforting.
Domaine de L’Aigle Limoux Chardonnay
Bring out your finest wine stems. Think seafood in sauce, grilled mushrooms and goat cheese. Because supple notes of white peach, marzipan and pastry beckon.
Matetic Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Coastal grapes from Chile’s Casablanca Valley imbue this gem with aromas of citrus, mango, papaya and grapefruit peel. Ceviche and oysters couple nicely.
Vine to Table Zinfandel
On cooler nights when you’re craving lasagna and a blue cheese wedge, this full-bodied Zin is your +1. Rich, ripe plum and cherry notes add the finest touch.
Santa Julia Cabernet del Mercado
Parpadelle with puttanesca sauce blossoms when paired with this juicy Argentinian. With aromas of stewed blackberries, licorice and tobacco? Heaven.
It starts with the eyes: ruby red and vivid purple. Then the nose: cherries and spice. Next, the palate: intense fruit and silky tannins. Full-bodied, indeed.
Paysan Sauvignon Blanc
How to plan a light brunch: Serve soft cheese, shellfish and chilled salads, then brighten with crisp pours of lime, gooseberry, green melon and grapefruit notes.
The name Camp says it all: Each pour offers subtle notes of spice cake, cedar and bark, layered with herbs and blackberries/blueberries. Yep, your campfire is lit.
Château Maris Biodynamic Minervois
When your simple lunch needs some EXTRA, reach for these lively, dark berry flavors whisked along by a sense of wind over scrubby Languedoc earth. Simple no more.
What is biodynamic wine?
Break out your horticulture books and magnifying glass! Part art and part science, biodynamic farming takes into account close observations of nature — considering soil health, water quality and interconnected ecosystems to view the vineyard holistically. Check out the wine label for certification from the Biodynamic Demeter Association, a U.S. certifier of biodynamic farms and products.
What is natural wine?
Natural winemaking strives for lower impact on the vineyard and lower intervention in the winery, with a focus on connection to the land and minimalist winemaking. What that means: wine that emphasizes expression of the place where the grapes are grown — soil, slope, sun and rain. While lacking hard requirements, natural winemakers likely show a preference for handpicking over mechanized and letting native yeasts and barrels do their thing. As a result, these wines can vary in character from year to year. Uncork and see what wonders await.
Is wine vegan?
Logic says that grapes are fruits and fruits are vegan. But it’s not that simple. Many winemakers use animal protein–based agents to filter sediment before bottling. Luckily, we offer plenty of vegan options opens in a new tab that carry a third-party vegan certification. So you’re all set to sip and relax.
*Must be 21+. Please drink responsibly.