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Less painful hangovers, kinder to the earth and fewer chemicals involved – there’s no wonder the organic wine trade is booming. The demand for sustainably farmed produce has rocketed in the last 20 years, as more and more of us are thinking about the products we are consuming and the effect on the environment. People are becoming more choosy about the wine they drink, so we want to make sure your hard-earned money is spent on wine produced to a high standard and made in a sustainable manner.
The growing popularity of this kind of winemaking has seen organic vineyards pop up across many different countries including the US, Argentina, France and Italy. The UK’s changing climate means that we’ve also come to expect longer, hotter summers which is great news for British winemakers such as Ancre Hill Estates in Wales.
At its very simplest, it’s made from organically farmed grapes. Standards vary across the world, but as a general rule it means not using chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides during the farming process. In the 300 or so pesticides permitted under EU law, just 20 are permitted under standards, and all of those are derived from natural ingredients. In addition to this, additives like sulfites and colouring agents cannot be added during the winemaking process itself.
The process from start to finish creates a more natural finished product reflecting the soil and climate in which the grapes have been grown. The grapes grown at these vineyards have also been proven to be more resilient than others as they need less water, which is better for the planet. Vineyards become their own biodiverse ecosystems providing homes for bees, butterflies and other small creatures and sustainable practices also help keep the soil healthy and free of harmful chemicals. For more information, take a look at our blog.
Both natural and organic wines share common characteristics around environmental impact and sustainability, but there are also some important differences. Organic wine has to be legally defined as such, but the conditions for natural wine are much more vague. Natural wine is produced with the minimal amount of intervention by the farmer or winemaker. The result is a fresh tasting, often cloudier wine.
As well as the grapes, the wine making methods also need to be free from certain additives as well. As long as the whole process follows the sustainable methods, you have a whole abundance of options, it all depends on your palate and what wine you feel like drinking! Organic prosecco, organic red wine and organic white wine are just a few examples, as many producers across the globe experiment and branch out into different methods.
A good rule of thumb is that if the wine and food are from the same place, they’ll usually work well together. Think of the wine as a sauce, you probably wouldn’t put gravy on a delicate piece of fish, would you?
Many wines are vegan friendly but some are not, it’s always important to check the label to make sure the bottle is suitable for your dietary requirements. Some techniques in winemaking include ingredients which aren’t vegan friendly such as milk protein and egg whites. Our wines are clearly labelled on our site so you can make sure you’re choosing the right one for your tastes. If it’s vegan wine you’re looking for, take a look at our extensive range here.
Impress your guests with not just the wine you have at table but your knowledge too. Not everyone knows that people can be allergic to some of the products used in winemaking. This type of wine can be a great option for people with allergies and suffer from conditions such as asthma which can be irritated by the use of pesticides and herbicides. It’s much lower in something called sulfites, which not only makes it more hypoallergenic but means less of a hangover in the morning, depending on how many glasses you’ve had, of course!
We want you to be able to enjoy our wines no matter what your tipple of choice is. If red is your thing, we’ve got a fruity Botter Primitivo Puglia with notes of plums, cherry marmalade and tobacco which is perfect for roasted or grilled meats and delicious with hard cheeses. Our home grown Welsh Ancre Hill Estates Blanc de Noirs is an outstanding, crisp sparkling wine offering notes of citrus and wild strawberries. These beautiful, diverse wines are just a selection of our elegant collection.
We have over 100 years combined experience working in the wine trade, and are incredibly proud of the treasure trove of wines we have curated. We work hard to bring fantastic wines to suit every palate from around the world, straight to your door. Many of the wines we stock are exclusive to us in the UK – you won’t find them anywhere else.
We always look to source the highest quality products and work together with vineyard owners to form long standing working relationships: truly there’s no better place to buy wine online. You are always welcome to visit our shop in Cardiff and chat with one of our experts who will be happy to advise you on the perfect wine to match your taste. In addition to these wines, we also offer an incredible collection of biodynamic and vegan wine. It’s understandable to be overwhelmed when you have so much choice, which is why we offer great value cases curated by us – just tell us what you like and we’ll do the rest.