It’s not that easy being green when it comes to organic wines. As a winemaker you not only have to be committed to meeting some pretty strict guidelines to become a certified organic producer; you then have to convince consumers that you’re not short-changing them when it comes to flavour.
While I’ve sipped my fair share of organic wines that tasted like licking a manure pile; the quality and selection of organic juice available today has never been better. In fact, with most I’d bet you’d never even know you were drinking a wine that was made without chemical intervention in the vineyard.
Bonterra Vineyards in California’s Mendocino County has been making wine with organically grown grapes since the early 1990s. Its 2008 Chardonnay ($18.95 - $21.36) is all about bright citrusy flavours with just a touch of oak, while its 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95 - $21.99) shows off big, ripe berry fruit that’s massaged by rounded tannins and a light spiciness. Both are textbook examples of wines that are made organically yet don’t sacrifice taste.
Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces.