Organic Wine, A Growing Market

 

The indisputable tend of the moment! In the Belpaese, the organic boom does not seem destined  to stop. A growing market, growing consumer demand, and growing numbers of wine makers  who have passed to the side of organic wine making. When talking about organic wine, both in Italy and in the rest of the world, we are referring to a well-established reality. Data and organic viticulture numbers, in fact, are constantly increasing, with more and more companies that adhere to this trend.

To analyze the most important hubs of the Italian wineries,from historic brands to large groups, from small companies to the most prestigious boutiques which have converted to organic. A survey was conducted by Vinitaly, the super international event dedicated to the wine world, in 2014 dedicating to this specific area called the Vinitalybio space.

But why do more and more companies make the move to organic? There are many reasons: the stimulus to attract wine lovers, the desire to diversify production, attention to the environment, and the desire to experiment. At However, no matter what the motivation may be, it is a fact that Italy can boast of being the number one European country for number of organic producers, and among them, the ten largest in the world; with over 45,000 wineries, it is a leader in Europe, before France and Spain.

But what exactly is organic wine?

A wine that can boast the organic label needs to meet two conditions: it must be produced from organic grapes and be vinified according to strict guidelines dictated by specific the regulations of the European Union, which came into effect in 2012, establishing exactly what is allowed and what is forbidden during the elaboration of the fruit.

What are its characteristics?

Organic wine comes from grapes that are grown according to the principles of agriculture that use only organic fertilizers, avoids pesticides and herbicides, favors the natural fertility of the soil and natural insecticides, and is defended of pests without using synthetic chemicals. Furthermore, in the winemaking process, the presence of additives, in particular sulfates, is significantly lower compared to the traditional production.

The regions in which there are the greatest number of hectares of organic vineyards are Sicily, Puglia and Tuscany. Just Sicily has had a leading role to 2016. The exhibition Vinitaly elected the winery Colomba Bianca as the largest producer of organic wine in Italy. Founded in 1970 as a cooperative of growers of the south-western part of Sicily, and located within an area that is particularly dedicated to the cultivation of the vine, it is the largest Sicilian winery with 2,118 members who cultivate about 8,100 hectares of vineyards in the provinces of Trapani, Palermo and Agrigento. Since 1978, this small cooperative formed by 300-400 members began to adopt communication and marketing strategies that have allowed it to have exponential growth, becoming a reference point for both producers and consumers.

Cantine Colomba Bianca's policy is one that keeps high regards for respecting the environment and energy saving. Thanks to its commitment from a sustainable point of view, it has been certified the ISO 14001. Another interesting aspect is the philosophy adopted by the company in the use it makes of technology: smartphones and tablets are integrated with the production tools and machinery, becoming a means of support for the work of the winemakers: each vineyard is geo-reported by a GPS, so as to make it possible to monitor the maturation trends of grapes, as well as plant diseases on the grave vines.