Apr 05, 2022
Organic farming is a cultivation method that exploits the fertile substances found in the soil with natural processes and fertilizers. This type of agriculture wants to help biodiversity and that is to safeguard all living organisms of any form or species that live in certain environments in their respective ecosystems.
It is an agricultural method that encourages to preserve regional ecological balances, to maintain water quality, and to favor animal welfare; and at the same time, it prohibits the use of synthetic products and genetically modified organisms. Resources are exploited as much as possible, an example is in fact the use of manure as a fertilizer; the cattle, raised in the open air, are fed with organic fodder and feed which, in most cases, are produced on the farm.
This way of working the land aims to produce food that respects natural cycles. We have already said that in organic farming synthetic products are not used, ie anti-cryptograms, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. As an alternative to chemical fertilizers, in addition to manure, organic fertilizers such as compost are used; it is a mixture of plant remains, mixtures of earth, wood ash and grass clippings.
Another way to nourish the soil is the "green manure", an agronomic practice that consists in sowing specific crops during the rest period of the soil (clover, rapeseed, spinach, vetch, etc. ..). Between one cultivation and another, once they have bloomed, they are plowed and milled with the soil. To make the soil more productive it is then necessary to apply crop rotation, which is a fundamental practice that consists in dividing the land into four parts. In the first part clover will be cultivated (improving crop), in the second the wheat (depleting), in the third the potatoes (preparer), in the fourth the corn (preparator). The following year, to restore the soil, the species will be exchanged and therefore where there was a depleted plant, a preparer will be planted.
To counteract the annoying weeds, the mulching technique is used, a practice that consists in covering the soil around the vegetables, in order to eliminate the light from the weeds and thus prevent their growth. The cheapest method is certainly the one that involves the use of recycled natural materials such as leaves, straw, dry grass clippings or hay. Otherwise, there are biodegradable mulch film on the market.
Let's now see how the topic of parasites in organic farming is dealt with. To counteract the much feared little animals harmful to plants and vegetables, there are insects in nature that can instead become our great allies; this is the case of the ladybird which, as we know, is the most useful and known predatory insect. Then we find the hoverflies, which are nothing more than insects that resemble small bees, feed on mites, aphids, scale insects, beetles, lepidoptera, ants and potato beetles, as well as being very important in the role of pollinators. Method used by organic farms to favor and allow the survival of beneficial insects, small mammals and birds that feed on harmful parasites for agriculture, is the presence and maintenance of hedges, groves and uncultivated spaces.
In recent years, given the continuous increase in demand from consumers, farmers who are dedicated to the production of BIO products are growing considerably. The process for converting to organic takes three years. Producers, distributors and retailers of these products to obtain the BIO certification must register with the local control body; it will be the responsibility of the latter, after inspection by the person in charge aimed at checking compliance with the fulfillment of all the necessary regulations, to issue a certificate of suitability which must be reconfirmed every year.
Organic products authorized in terms of production, storage, and transport, sold in the European Union (EU), have the organic logo to be more easily identified. The latter applies only to 95% organic products and which respect equally strict rules for the remaining 5%; this is not mandatory only for products derived from hunting or fishing.
Italy, according to a recent research, has an annual turnover for exports that exceeds one billion euros and is at the top in Europe. The multiple benefits that society can derive from the organic farming method, combined with the growing desire for genuine products possibly linked to the surrounding area, are one of the happiest trends in recent years. Ultimately, organic farming can certainly combine productivity and environmental protection, as well as providing richer natural products, both in terms of nutrients and flavor.
The transition from organic farming to organic wine was not a short one, and this is because it took several years before obtaining the pass from the European Union to regulate the sector. In fact, this took place on March 8, 2012 (EU n.203), it is in that year that the rules on agricultural management of vineyards and winemaking are established and that wine can finally be labeled as organic. The label, to be compliant with the standards, must include the organic logo of the Euro-Leaf and also the code number of the competent certification body.
Even the wineries, as already seen for the whole sector, will be checked annually and, if necessary, the authorized representative will have the right to take samples to be analyzed. The European regulation establishes that organic wine can only be produced with organic grapes grown without synthetic chemicals and without GMOs.
Let's now see in detail the methods used for the cultivation and production of organic wines. To protect the vines from parasites, preventive balanced fertilizations are carried out to strengthen the plants or natural anti-parasitic treatments are carried out with sulfur, copper, plant extracts, etc.
As regards the practices of the cellar, for the BIO production, there are some prohibitions which are:
- electrodialysis treatment for the tartaric stabilization of wine,
- partial cryoconcentration,
- elimination of sulfur dioxide,
- cation exchangers,
- partial dealcoholisation,
- heat treatment max 70 ° C
- minimum pore size of 2 omicron filtration membranes.
Another substantial point is the reduction of the quantity of sulphites; the sulfur dioxide limits are 50mg / l less than in conventional wines, where instead they are 100mg / l for dry red wines, and 150mg / l for dry white or rosé wines.
All stages of production, from the vineyard to the bottle, must meet the traceability requirement. Sicily is the Italian region that boasts the most organic wineries, thanks to the geo-physical characteristics of the largest island in the Mediterranean. The significant solar radiation and the scarce rainfall concentrated in Autumn and Winter far from the flowering phases, favor the development and ripening of the grapes. Added to these are the excellent ventilation of the vineyards located in the mountains and hills, and the beneficial effect of the saltiness brought by the sea breeze to the crops near the sea.
In conclusion, organic wine is a product that derives from a cultivation method with very specific rules that leads to planning the vinification right from the vineyard. A chemical-free vineyard respects the environment, the vine and the earth; the result is a perfect balance, necessary to produce healthy and rich grapes that make wines identifiable and unique in the world.
The category of Organic Wines is well suited to those who want to savor genuine and natural flavors that are unique in their kind.