Sunday, 6 October 2013
Sulphites in Wine
Sulphur Dioxide in wine has been the subject of much debate in recent years, with many consumers arguing that it contributes to hangovers as well as numerous other health problems, including breathing difficulties for asthmatics, sneezing and swelling of the throat.
All wines contain sulphur dioxide in various forms. Even if it isn't added as part of the wine making process, wine will naturally contain up to 10 milligrams per litre. It is only a legal requirement to state on the label that the wine Contains Sulphites if there is more than ten parts per million in the finished product. This isn't much help to consumers as nearly all wine contains more than 10mg/l.
SO2 is added to wine as an anti-oxident but often more SO2 is added than is necessary. Under EU law up to 160mg/l is allowed for red wines, 210mg/l for white/rose wines and 400mg/l for sweet wines. As a supplier of organic wine we are restricted to 90mg/l for our Silent Pool Rosé but always try to use less.
This year we are aiming to produce a small batch of biodynamic wine with no or very little added sulphur. At the very least we will restrict it to 40mg/l, which is the level generally accepted by the Natural Wine Movement which is gaining momentum throughout Europe and the New World.