There are many organic products that I already use, such as skin care. Wine is something I often choose based on the label or price. There is a growing industry for organic wines and I have often wondered whether the rumours of drinking organic wine were true.
Tony Ingle, Chief Winemaker of Angove Organic in Australia, Australia’s biggest Certified Organic grape and wine producer, was my source for this information.
How long has your winemaking business been in existence?
When I was working in London, I began in merchant banking. In that environment, you begin to drink some nice wine. That’s when it really grabbed me.
I quit banking to sweep the floor in a London wine shop. This made me more interested in wine. I began sweeping floors in a English winery, [then] France, and [then] Australia. They finally allowed me to do things. You know, they say overnight success is 20 years after.
Why did you choose to go organic?
When I was at university studying postgraduate winemaking the lecturer asked us what kind of wines we would like to make. The organic wine that I drank in Europe had inspired me at the time.
Organic wine is good for your health and the environment. It doesn’t contain any artificial chemicals or sugar. The vineyards are a great place to attract natural species, as they don’t use chemicals. This promotes biodiversity, and protects our natural ecosystem.
What is organic wine?
By definition, Certified Organic wine is wine that has been made without synthetic ingredients, such as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilisers. It is a common misconception that Certified Organic wine means “natural wine”. This is not the case.
Certified Organic wines must undergo a three-year rigorous accreditation process and adhere to strict rules, guidelines, and protocols. Every year, Certified Organic winemakers undergo an audit to ensure the standard and quality of our organic wines.
Natural wine, on the other hand, has no standards, guidelines or rules that it must follow. The Certified Organic label provides consumers with assurances about the purity, quality and authenticity of their product.
Is it common for Angove Organics to use ducks as pesticides instead?
We had to find natural methods to eliminate pests as the Angove Organic Wineries don’t use chemical pesticides. We would manually remove all snails from the vine canopy that were eating the new grapes before the ducks came. In one year, we manually removed 400kg of snails. We were shocked to learn that Indian Runner Ducks are used in European wineries as a natural pest control.
Does organic wine give you a good hangover?
You can avoid a hangover by not drinking “too much”. Even organic wines can cause a hangover. It is important to drink moderately.
What wine pairing suggestions do you have?
Angove Organic Shiraz Cabernet is one of our most popular reds. This is a full-bodied, beautiful red wine with aromas of black cherries, black currants and plums, chocolate, and subtle oak. It has a soft and earthy finish. It goes well with hearty meals like roast beef or vegetable ravioli for vegetarians or vegans.
[Our] Sauvignon Blanc This wine is bright, lively, and has a crisp, fruity flavour with a clean and fresh finish. This wine pairs well with quinoa and barramundi grilled on the line.
Our rose is an incredibly fruity and refreshing drink made with Shiraz grapes that are 100% organically certified. The palate is crisp and clean, with a lot of strawberry and red berry flavors. It pairs well with spicy Asian foods, seafood such as lobster or seared Salmon.