QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
ABOUT ORGANIC WINE
Americans have become increasingly sophisticated and discriminatingabout how they live, eat and play, within and ever changing world. One ofthe most pressing concerns regarding our health and environment is the useof chemicals and pesticides in the products we eat and drink. Wine, is anagricultural product, in which the use of chemicals, pesticides and addedpreservatives have increasingly become an issue to the consumer.
Over the years, many wines have been released claiming that theyare 'organic', but confusion still exists about just what constitutes anorganic wine. While some wines are produced from grapes that areorganically grown, most wines still have added sulfites and otherpreservatives that may cause allergic reactions or other health problemsfor sensitive people. The Organic Wine Works wines are not only producedfrom organically grown grapes, but are organically processed as well. Weare one of two vintners that produces an organic, unsulfited wine that isnationally distributed and the first winery to release 100% certifiedorganically processed wines in the United States.
We at Hallcrest saw a need for untreated wines. The Organic WineWorks label was established so that our customers of the unsulfited wines(The Organic Wine Works), would not be confused with our wines that areorganically grown but traditionally processed( Hallcrest Vineyards). TheOrganic Wine Works has taken on a challenge that the rest of the wineindustry has virtually ignored; producing quality wines that can be enjoyedby wine lovers who are sensitive to sulfites. Growing grapes without theuse of chemicals is an environmentally conscious step. We feel that it isjust as important for the winemaker to make the same efforts to maintainingthe integrity of the "organic" concept.
There are now ten wines under The Organic Wine Works label; threewhite, a rose, and six red. All have been grown and processed inaccordance with the California Organic Foods Act of 1990 and are certifiedby California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). These wines are among aselect few non-sulfited wines available in the United States.
Most Common Questions About Our Wines
How long is the shelf life?
The white wines show well within a year and a half. Studies showthat most white wines are consumed within a week after purchase, so theshelf life rarely poses any limitations. The red wines generally can bekept for two to three years without any problems. We have tasted manyunsulfited reds that have aged for six to eight years and they have heldtogether beautifully. We do recommend, as with any fine wine, to ship andstore the wines at less than 60° F and to keep out of direct sunlight.
Aren't sulfites a natural byproduct of fermentation?
Yes and No. Our research has shown that most of our wines havelittle or no naturally occurring sulfites. Although some wines do produceover 10ppm (the legal threshold where labels must state that wines containsulfites), this is very uncommon.
Is the 'sulfite issue' just hype?
We don't think so. Food allergies are very complex, and thereforea customer's concern cannot be taken for granted. If an individual ishaving problems with other wines, try a bottle of The Organic Wine Workswine. If they do not have the same reaction, then their concerns aboutsulfites may be legitimate. If they do have a similar reaction as withother wines, then there might be a common component in wine they have anadverse reaction to.
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