Digital Boss | Wine Consultant


Differences Between Organic Grapes, Organic Wines and Biodynamic Wines

Differences Between Organic Grapes, Organic Wines and Biodynamic Wines

What’s a Clean-Crafted Wine?

It says “made with organic grapes” on the label so it’s clean wine, right? Well, that depends on what you call clean.

When I started to look into Scout & Cellar from a buyer's perspective I was intrigued with the term “clean-crafted” wine, and the list of things it DIDN’T contain. I immediately freaked out.

Really. Let’s be honest (and if you’ve met me you already know), I like my wine. I really like my wine. Specifically, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. And you know what? I haven’t touched a drop of that since learning what I now know. It’s laced with everything I work hard to keep to an absolute minimum in my daily diet. I suppose I figured, well it’s alcohol so it’s not ‘good’ for me anyways - but if I’d known I could still be enjoying my wine without ALL of that junk I’d have jumped ship a LOT sooner. It took me getting to a point where all the added sugar was wrecking havoc on my skin to start questioning what was in my glass. And it wasn’t pretty.

While I waited for my first shipment of “Clean-Crafted Wine” from Scout & Cellar I started to hunt for organic wines at my local supermarket and wine stores. Now, if you’re in a major city you might have better luck than me, but here south of Atlanta I was struggling. Some stores had nothing, some had 2-3 to offer - and even then I had to read all the very fine pint to see what I was really getting. You see, I quickly learned that “made with organic grapes” does not an organic wine make. Let me walk you though this…

First let’s be clear on what mass-produced wine is. While it’s made from grapes, they’re continually sprayed with pesticides and are then harvested with a machine. From there you can expect the following added to your wine:

  • Up to 350ppm of sulfites

  • Up to 16g of added sugar or sweetener concentrate

  • Ferrocyanide

  • Ammonium phosphate

  • Copper sulfate

  • Mega-Purple (wine teeth, anyone?)

  • GMO ingredients

  • Synthetic pesticides

Basically 250+ FDA-approved additives. That’s some scary sh$t. So let’s talk about something better - organic, biodynamic and clean-crafted wines.

Sustainable Wines

If this is the only claim to fame on the label you can’t be sure it’s clean of chemicals. Sustainable more often just means minimal use of chemicals.

Made with Organic Grapes

This simply means that the wine was made at a certified organic winery with organic or native yeast and organic additives, and contains up to 100ppm of sulfites.

Organic Wines

This means the wine was made at a certified organic winery with organic or native yeast and organic additives, and contains less than 10 ppm of naturally occurring sulfites.

Biodynamic Wines

This takes organic farming a step further, creating very healthy ecosystems. Biodynamic grape growers treat the vineyard, including the soil, plants, animals (wild and domesticated), people, microbial life and cosmos, as an interconnected, ecological whole. No chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides are permitted. May contains up to 100ppm of sulfites.

So what does Clean-Crafted Wine mean and how does it compare to what we’ve already talked about today? Good question, Lisa, let me tell you! 😉

Clean-Crafted wines, a term coined by Sarah and Scout & Cellar, may include wines made from sustainable, organic and/or biodynamic farming methods. Most are harvested from established old vines and grown naturally with no additions of pesticides, chemicals, additives or sugar. These wines are vinified by hand, not manufactured in a lab. They mostly contain less than 50ppm sulfites (always under 100ppm) and are full of vibrant flavors not hidden by the conventional winemaking process. And to ensure that the process is perfected as planned, wines curated by Scout & Cellar are independently lab-tested to ensure they meet the Clean-Crafted standards before shipping them right to your door.

In summary — really pure farming, really clean winemaking, no additives or junk — Clean-Crafted from the Vine to the Glass. A difference you can feel good about.

Photo by Matthieu Joannon on Unsplash