Study: Organic wine tastes better

Sep 18, 2016

(ChinaDaily) - Vino made from organic grapes fared better with critics by an average of 4.1 points

It's official, organic wine (made from grapes grown without pesticides, fungicides or any otherartificial fertilisers) does taste better than non-organic wine.

A research team from the University of California used data from three leading winepublications - Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast - to "assess thequality of 74,148 wines produced in California between 1998 and 2009."

The researchers used a standardised 100-point scale to control for differences between themagazines scoring systems and found that, on average, wines made with certified organicgrapes scored 4.1 points higher than non-organic.

Lead author of the report and UCLA environmental economist Magali Delmas said: "Thebottom line is that however we look at it, we find that organic and biodynamic farming hasthese small but significant positive effects on wine quality.

"Wine makers say it's better for the quality of wine. It's a purer taste with more sense of theterroir, because you replace pesticides with labour, you have hands-on care for the vines andyou improve the composition of the soil and you get back all the life - the microbes, insects,bees and worms that you need in agriculture."

Professor Kaan Kurtural, of the UCLA Department of Viticulture and Enology, added that thedifference in quality between the two types of wine could be because organic grape vinesproduce less through, causing the canopies to be thinner and allowing the grapes that dogrow greater exposure to the sunlight. This cultivates more "fruit forward" flavours, like cherry.

Despite the study finding organic wines taste better, they still sell poorly. A 2015 study fromDelmas which asked consumers to select a wine based purely on the label found that organicvariations were only chosen over conventional ones when the latter were deemed to be froma region that produces low-quality wine.

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