3 May 2017

A few comments on “organic”

The management of organic vine-growing has recently become one of the most frequent and most discussed topics. ‘Organic’ wine still does not exist by law but the word ‘organic’, which then soon leads to ‘biodynamic’, is all that producers, wine experts, journalists, etc. are talking about. Speaking for ourselves, all our red grape vineyards are included in the certified organic regime. Therefore the following wines – Carmenere Più, Bradisismo, Oratorio di San Lorenzo and Campo del Lago, all come from organically-managed vineyards. We purposefully do not use this topic as a direct sales pitch. Or perhaps it would be better to say that we are very happy to tell anyone who should ask for information on the characteristics of our wines and our productive philosophy about it. But we do find it hard to use these points for commercial benefit as if they were just another item to add to the label.
The thoughts behind this decision come from a vision of wine that is briefly outlined below.

 

In the last thirty years wine has experienced an unprecedented boom and interest in it has grown dramatically. Styles, fashions, old and new production areas, species of vine and philosophies have come and gone through the market at a incredible pace.
This has made modern wine ‘similar’ to a number of other consumer products that often have to alter their own look and label in order to capture consumer interest.
It is, however, interesting to note that the great classic wines, especially French ones, have not bowed to this trend and have kept their identity well intact without ever directly communicating any changes in their vine-growing and wine-producing methods. Many have long been produced from organic or almost organic grapes but this has never been declared openly. The aim is to not distract the wine drinker from what is the one and only true purpose of our work: the goodness of the wine.
Any adjective like organic, biodynamic, natural, etc., is not proof of the goodness of the wine but does place the consumer in a positive mind, perhaps too much so, even before he even tastes the wine. How many of us have drunk wines boasting such attributes and have found them really bad? I believe that a lot of us have.
Therefore, using and introducing new adjectives in the name of a greater ‘naturalness’ of the wine does not actually help the consumer’s palate to develop but can risk turning it towards a new fashion, no matter how healthy, that certainly does not certify the goodness of that particular wine.
On the other hand, the entirely opposite procedure would be ideal: blind tasting, we would even add a little distracted tasting, where the goodness has to emerge intensely and almost unexpectedly.
Good agricultural and oenological practices are definitely necessary for this purpose. But they are not a guarantee.

 

Stefano Inama