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What are sulphites and do organic wines contain sulphites?

Sulphites are preservatives and antioxidants. They are commonly used in wine to prevent unwanted bacteria spoiling the wine. Sulphites play a very important role in preventing oxidation and maintaining a wines freshness and beautiful fruity flavours. Given that it is often difficult to control the wine’s storage conditions from the time it leaves the winery to the time it has been consumed, it’s hard these days to omit sulphites all together. We do however have an amazing Winemaker who this year, has created our first ever Preservative Free + Organic Sauvignon Blanc. A fruity wine, with gorgeous floral notes that’s now available from our online shop!

Sulphites are generally harmless unless you have an allergy to them or your body does not have the correct enzymes to break them down. You’ll find that if you do have an allergy, you’ll notice it in foods before wine as foods generally have a high sulphur content. If you find you only react to wine, then it could be something else in the wine and not the sulphur. It’s also important to understand that a sulphur allergy may develop over time, so just because you were fine 5 years ago, doesn’t mean that you won’t have a reaction to it now.

With regards to wine, any wine that contains more than 10 parts per million, must be labelled “contains sulphites.” Just a quick tip, if you’re travelling to the US, organic wines must not contain added sulphites. If they do, they are labelled as “made from organically grown grapes.” Australia, Canada and Europe do not have this rule and wines are simply labelled as “organic.”

We often hear people say to us that they can’t drink wine because the sulphur gives them a headache. It doesn’t necessarily mean the sulphur is giving them a headache as wine also contains other compounds such as histamines and tannins which are most likely connected to the headaches. A lot of dried food has 10 times more sulphur than wine, so if you can consume dried fruits without a headache, then it’s likely that the wine won’t cause a headache. 

This is also true for red wine. We hear this all the time, that people can’t drink red wine because it gives them a headache. Red wine contains less sulphites than white wine, so it’s most likely the tannins in the red wine that are affecting you. Tannins are a stabilising agent so less sulphur is required to protect the wine during the winemaking and maturation processes. 

One important thing to remember, is that sulphites are a natural by-product of the yeast during fermentation, so even if you do not add them to the wine, the wine will still contain a low level.

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AUSTRALIAN CERTIFIED ORGANIC (ACO)

All of our wines are certified organic by an Australian third party organic certifier called ACO – Australian Certified Organic. In order to become a certified operator, strict international organic standards must be adhered to, which allows us to distribute our organic wines nationally and worldwide. A strict 3 year conversion program was put in place across our vineyards in order to become certified. The vineyards and winery are audited annually for compliance, to ensure our consumers are getting a 100% organic product.

When you see the ACO bud logo on our wines, you can trust we are fully certified and meet the strict international organic standards.

For further details on ACO visit aco.net.au

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Why we converted to organic farming

Our family has been living on the land for over 45 years. We’re up to our 4th generation now and the soils are better than ever before. Imagine if we continue to do what we’re doing, how good the soils will be in years to come? 

We believe that organic farming is the way of the future. It works in harmony with nature not against it. In order to maintain healthy soils and continue farming through generations, we must respect our land and nurture our soil. This way, the end product is of a high standard and is much better for you!

It’s not only our wines that have benefited from this, but our young families and the environment. We live where we farm and the health and well-being of our families is our number one priority.

In order to be certified organic, the vineyard went through a 3-year conversion process and it wasn’t until the 4th year that we were allowed to be known as organic. This ensures that the soils are clear of any unwanted inputs. It was tough at some points. When you’ve been farming conventionally for 30 years, it’s really the only way you know how to farm, but with lots of education and modern organic farming techniques, we got there and now we couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved. Our wines are so much more cleaner, fruiter and tasteful than ever before.

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Organic VS bio-dynamic viticulture

Biodynamic and organic viticulture are quite similar where both do not use any synthetic chemicals, fertilisers or pesticides. Biodynamic viticulture however, looks at the farm as one entity or ecosystem and relies entirely on everything produced on the premises, without the use of outside inputs. Biodynamic viticulture also takes into account astrological influences and moon cycles to maintain the vineyard and make the wine. Both types of viticulture are classified as sustainable and kind to our precious land.

Our organic wines are organically farmed. At this stage, we do not farm bio-dynamically as we find we are getting fantastic results in our soils, grapes and wine from being organic. 

Imagine the state of our soils if all farms were farmed organically or bio-dynamically?

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What are tannins?

I bet you’ve heard the word ‘tannins’ before and have wondered what they are. Tannins are a naturally occurring compound found in many species of plants and in this case, grape seeds, skins and stems. Once grapes have been pressed in the winery, the seeds, skins and stems soak in the grape juice and release tannin – how long they soak for determines how much tannin a wine has. 

Tannin is what gives a wine its dryness and astringency. Red wines usually have more tannin characteristics than white wine as red wine juice sits longer with the seeds, skin and stems – this method also gives red wine its wonderful colour. 

Tannins, like sulphur can affect people in different ways, so when you think you’ve got a ‘red’ wine headache, it can most likely be from a wine that is high in tannin. Here is some good news though – tannin also acts as a natural antioxidant which protects the wine from spoiling. Which ultimately means, we don’t need to add too much sulfur in the winemaking process. 

Another good point to remember is that your palate releases its own flavours and this is why tannins can taste different from person to person and why everyone enjoys wine differently. Also, did you know that fat makes high tannin wine taste smoother? So you might find that you can enjoy those big bold red wines with a hearty meal, but not on their own.

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Vegan Wines

All of the Pure Vision wines are vegan friendly. These days, many wines are processed using animal products to capture the sediments in the wine. This process is called fining and can use various products such as Isinglass which is from fish bladders, Gelatin which is created by boiling cow or pig body parts, albumin which is egg whites and casein which is an animal milk protein.

Some winemakers now either skip the fining process and allow the wine to settle before bottling, or they use vegetable based products.

In most cases, a vegan wine will state that it is vegan friendly on the back label, so if it doesn’t, then perhaps look into it before purchasing.

You can be assured though that all our organic wines are vegan friendly. I wouldn’t be drinking it any other way.

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What is organic wine?

Organic wine – it’s the best form of wine available today. Organic wine has been made with organic grapes grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers and pesticides. The result – clearer, brighter, fruiter wines with strong regional characteristics. The magic also happens in the winery with the winemaker and we’re lucky we have one of Australia’s most talented winemakers who is at the forefront of organic winemaking.

Just remember, a true organic wine must be certified organic so double check the back label to ensure the wine has been certified using a recognised certifying body. This will ensure that the grapes comply with strict growing standards and that you’re drinking a true organic wine.

We’re fortunate enough to be growing up in a society that is becoming more health conscious and more aware of the toxic chemicals on our everyday food. I for one, have eliminated so many of these chemicals in my home and from my everyday groceries for my family. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be doing the same when it comes to your choice of wine. If you had a choice over buying a bunch of organic or chemically-sprayed grapes for the same price, wouldn’t you choose organic? Why should it be any different with your choice of wine?.

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What is preservative free wine?

Preservative free wines are wines made without the addition of sulphur dioxide. Sulphur is added to wines to protect from spoilage and oxygen by acting as an antibacterial agent. It also helps by preventing off flavours forming while protecting those desired flavours.

Having no sulphur in a wine does not mean the wine will not taste as good, it simply means it has a shorter shelf life than other wines that do contain sulphur. There are lots of people who are allergic to sulphur for all different reasons. Some people have a slight tolerance and others not at all.

Our Preservative Free Sauvignon Blanc is a delightful wine showing fresh, vibrant grassy aromas on the nose with hints of kiwifruit and citrus. Pale green in colour it has lovely fruit flavours, with a fine balanced acidity and a long finish.

This beauty along with our other range of wines can be purchased directly from our website!