Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Slow Wine 2018's Italian Producers - 45% of SF Exhibitors Had Wines from Organically Farmed Wines


Vino Biologico is thriving.

Looking for fine wines from organically farmed vines is easy if you're choosing from among Slow Wine's Italian producers who came to San Francisco earlier this month.

The country has more than 206,000 acres of organic vineyards, compared to fewer than 20,000 acres of organic vineyards in the U.S. (Maybe when Fred Franzia's new 5,000 acres are certified, which should be pretty soon, we can get up to 25,000 acres.)

Indeed in their introduction to the 2018 guide, the Italian editors Giancarlo Gariglio and Fabio Giavedoni write,
"When Slow Wine made its debut, it was hard...to find wines that farmed their vineyards organically or at least avoided weeding with chemicals. Today it's the exact opposite..."
Today Italy has more organic vines than France, both in number (206,000 acres to 174,730 acres) and in percentage (10% compared to 9%). 


More than 85 producers exhibited at Terre Gallery in San Francisco March 7, as part of a four city tour (Atlanta, Houston, New York and SF). Out of the 85 producers, according to the program guide, 36 were either certified organic or converting to organic. Two were listed as Demeter certified Biodynamic.

We're talking about 200,000 acres of vineyards with no added Roundup, synthetic fertilizers and other toxic chemicals. To put that into perspective, here in California, we have 460,000 acres of vineyards total - minus about 15,000 acres for organic - we have 445,000 acres of Roundup, synthetic fertilizers and toxics. So where are you going to find great organically grown wines when only 15,000 acres of California are treating their soil with respect?

The answer is yes, we have wonderful wines, but in fact, Italy has a LOT MORE wonderful wines and most of the wines from Italy at Slow Wine are not nearly as pricey as a Sonoma Pinot Noir or a Napa Cab. Not to mention that the Italians have a much greater variety of varietals and make many more types of wine in general - from Amarone to Prosecco and beyond.

Here are some of the lovely producers I met and sampled wines from at the event.

DOCG Amarone producer Speri, from the Veneto, is
transitioning to organic
Vinica Tintilia de Molise Lame del Sorbo
Tintilia is an indigenous grape from Molise (on the east central coast of
Italy south of Vasto. Delish.

The wonderful Avignonesi winery in Tuscany - with this beautiful Montepulciano -
is headed by Virginie Saverys, who will be speaking at the
International Biodynamic Wine Conference here in SF May 6
More lovelies from Avignonenesi; the estate has a 100 acres of vines

Time for a refreshing rosé? This one's from the Veneto
and is made with Corvina and Rondinella grapes

Case Paolin makes a very nice Brut Prosecco

The same producer also has a Col Fondo Prosecco fermetned on the lees
but there isn't much of it that you can find on Wine-Searcher

Now, where can I BUY these wines? That's the real question...

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