A trend is being seen where growers are shifting towards organic and biodynamic viticulture. The primary reason for the shift is to improve the fruit quality and reduce the impact of conventional viticulture to the environment
A six-year field trial was conducted on a 20-year-old, 10ha Cabernet Sauvignon vines in McLaren Vale of South Australia. The aim of the study was to find out the benefits and drawbacks of Organic and biodynamic practices over Conventional viticulture. Below mentioned are the observations found during the trial-
- There was a marked improvement in the biological properties such as biomass, earthworm numbers, etc. of the soil with Organic and Biodynamic viticulture which was not observed with the use of herbicides in conventional methods. The use of compost led to the increase in total organic carbon, pH and electrical conductivity levels in the soil whereas vines under conventional viticulture showed higher concentrations of Phosphorous, Sulphur and Boron levels
- The vines under Organic and Biodynamic practices showed reduced yield. The percentage of Organic, Bio-dynamic and LCON (Low-input conventional) yields were 79%, 70%, and 91% respectively in comparison to HCON (High-input conventional). The difference was not only in the yield but also in the alcohol levels. A Higher level of alcohol, anthocyanin (the ingredient which imparts color to the red wine) and phenolic levels (primarily responsible for the look and feel of the wine) were noticed in vines under HCON viticulture.
- Blind tasting of the wines under the different management treatments was also done with panel members describing Organic and Biodynamic wines to be more rich, complex, textural and vibrant in comparison to vines grown with HCON and LCON means.
- Though not as high financially beneficial as HCON system, it was found that ORG, BD, and LCON systems produced 74%, 65% and 91% financial return per hectare respectively of the HCON system.
Overall, Organic and Biodynamic viticulture were found to be beneficial for the soil and the environment and more sustainable form of viticulture but talking in monetary terms the returns were high in HCON system.
Ever wondered why the wine you are paying for is so expensive?
Here are a few factors that affect the price of a wine which can bring wines to sell in the premium range.
Geographical Location can play an important role in deciding the price of the wine. If the vineyard is present in a highly-reputed wine region where the land rates are high, it would naturally make the prices of these wine soar.
- Manpower related factors such as labor cost and winemaker’s fees can be another reason for that costly drink. For small wineries, the number of laborers employed too can direct the cost of the wine. Winery paying a hefty salary to its winemakers can influence the price of the wine too.
- Viticulture and Winemaking related factors are mentioned below-
- Yield and Grape Selection
If the yield per hectare is less for a winery and the selection is of only premium quality grapes it would make the wines more expensive.
If dry white wines are to be made, there is a need of using more grapes to produce same quantity of wine which is normally produced. This increases the input costs. That is how premium white wines attain high price levels. If the wine is to be produced is sparkling, then additional process, such as disgorging of wine, takes place which can add to wine’s cost. Thus, costs related to the nature of wine being made.
The Oak barrels in which the wine is aged do not come cheap. They can raise the price of the wine which is stored for aging purposes. At times, the period of storage can be many years and the overhead costs attributed to these wines on per unit basis are far higher that the wines which are consumed young.
If for a year, the wine production had not been significant and the demand is high then the new price to tackle demand may hurt the customers pocket.
- Advertising of the brand can bring good dividends in later stages but, initially, it is expensive for the fresh wines.
- Imported Wines are more expensive as they incur additional transport cost and taxes.
- Organic Wines can be more expensive as the processes and efforts are different and the path to getting certified often difficult. Even the time taken for preparing the farmland suitable for producing organic white wines or red wines is very long which increases the costs.
Here is a list of the popular organic wine brands and wineries. Some of these wine brands, which are sold in Australia, are either produced within the country or are imported from other countries.
|Andrew Peace Wines
||Pig In The House
|Battle of Bosworth
||Organic Wine Cleanskins
||ARIEL Dealcoholised Wine
||Sergio Bio Organic
|Freehand Natural Wines
||Spring Seed Wine Co
||Champagne Francoise Bedel
||Tamburlaine Organic Wines
|J & J Vineyards
||Switch Organic Wine
||The Natural Wine Co
|Little Goat Creek
||Wood Park Wines
||Quita do Ameal
||WINE 4 GOOD