White, red, rosé, sparkling, fortified, Moscatel… are perhaps the best-known types of wine. But they are not the only ones. In recent times, a new name has emerged: organic wines.
With changes in eating habits and lifestyles, more and more consumers are interested in this type of wine and, with this, more and more producers are making this option available.
Although, we know that there is a future for organic wine, the amount of organic wine produced in Europe and in the rest of the world is still a small part of the total amount of wine produced.
Organic Portuguese wines are nothing new, but the reality is that their representation in relation to traditional wines is still very limited. Portugal has a very heterogeneous market, in terms of supply and demand. Not everyone wants complex wines from the Douro or Alentejo, they are also looking for other wine regions, and not everyone is looking for Reserva wines or light whites to drink.
The production of organic wine is a very demanding process and not all regions are used in the production of organic wine. And mildew can be an obstacle to the production of organic wine.
But what are these wines?
The differences between conventional wines and organic wines are many. Organic wines are wines produced with grapes from organically or biodynamically grown vines, using more sustainable and environmentally friendly methods, with fermentation based on natural yeasts, these wines undergo only a minimal addition of sulfur in bottling.
It is still very difficult to eliminate certain practices (such as the use of sulfur dioxide) in the winemaking process and wine conservation, so there are still very few 100% organic wines.
In Portugal, Beira Interior is the region with the largest number of vineyards certified in organic production, this should also be the region with the most producers of organic wines.
Traditionally, it has always been organic wine in the region and we have good conditions for this practice. In Beira Interior wines are influenced by altitude. Surrounded by the Estrela, Marofa and Malcata mountains, the vineyards reach over 750 meters.
The climate is very cold in winter, which eliminates the main pests, and in summer it is dry, with low relative humidity, which prevents the development of diseases such as powdery mildew.
In Beira Interior, we have better aeration of the soil, less retention of nutrients, low productions and fundamentally better insolation due to the reflection of sunlight, favoring maturation. This terroir gives rise to fresh, lively wines with intense aromas, but also finer and more balanced.
In the case of organic wines of Beira Interior, this Vinha da Malcata Biológico DOC red wine were launched by winemaker Rui Roboredo Madeira.
This wine stands out for its minimalist packaging as well, with a glass bottle and recycled paper label, 100% vegetable ink and the absence of a capsule, in order to reduce the materials used in the packaging process.
The wine was produced with grapes from the Jaen and Pinot Noir varieties, growing on granitic soils. Harvest in 2019 and aging in stainless steel vats until bottling.
The drink presents a bright translucent ruby color.
It has an aroma of ripe fruit and wild berries that are very characteristic of the grape varieties from which it originates. Accompanied with spicy and granitic rock notes, on the nose.
In the mouth, an intensely fruity wine, plum and red fruits, reveals soft tannins that are very present, counterbalanced by the characteristic acidity of the mountains, and followed by a very fresh and persistent aftertaste.
A simple wine with little body, the smoothness of Pinot Noir, and some astringency. A little watery but well balanced in flavor.
Alcohol content: 13%
It pairs well with white meats, cheese risotto, oven-baked fish, soft cheeses and nuts.
Today it is increasingly easier to taste organic wine in Portugal. It is also possible to buy in any hypermarket, as they all already have a space for this kind of Portuguese wine as well.
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