What are sulphites? They’re the sulphur-based compounds that occur naturally in wine, and they’ve been used in winemaking as a preservative since Roman times. Unfortunately, many conventional producers are a little heavy-handed when it comes to the sulphur they add. For example, a third of a bottle of conventional white wine with 200 mg/l of sulphur dioxide (SO2) would take the average man over his recommended daily consumption of the compound.
What makes a low-sulphite wine? Under EU law, certified biodynamic wine is required to contain less than half the amount of SO2 permitted in conventional wine. In practice, most natural wines will contain much lower levels than that, and some have no added sulphur at all. All the wines featured in our low sulphite category contain 50 mg/l SO2 or less, apart from dessert wines where we allow up to 100 mg/l.
What do low-sulphite wines taste like? While minimal sulphur levels may not have any real noticeable effect on the style of a wine, they can contribute to a different flavour profile, which some conventional wine drinkers reject. In white wines, where less natural SO2 occurs, low sulphur might render the flavour more complex, yeasty and a little ‘wilder’. In reds, the difference is less evident, but low sulphur still might promote a natural vibrancy and authenticity.
We think low sulphur levels add authenticity to the wine and once you drink these wines, you may never want to drink anything else again.