At Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen we are as organic as we can be… sometimes the price of non-seasonal organic produce is simply too high (because there aren’t enough organic farmers) or we simply can’t get hold of anything grown in Australia so we need to look elsewhere.
We buy as much produce as we can from local growers and farmers who are using organic principles and minimal pesticides and herbicides on their properties.
Our wine list celebrates organic winemaking in the Hunter Valley so we thought we tell you a bit more about it and why it’s so important
Key benefits of organic wine
- Sustainable Farming
- organic farms just as productive and far more sustainable than non-organic. Many agrichemical sprays leave residues in the plants and fruit as well as in the surrounding environment and groundwater. Farms that don’t use agrichemicals don’t create these often unseen problems or unintended consequences.
- Biological Soil Health
- Biological soil health is at the heart of sustainable productive farms. The absence of harmful agrichemical sprays increases soil microbe activity and optimises plant health.
- Beneficial Insect, Fungi & Bacteria Protection
- With organic farming methods the beneficial fungi and bacteria are protected (the good bugs) rather than killed off with pesticides and herbicides. The plants remain naturally resilient to fungal disease and insect attack (bad bugs).
- Consumer Benefits / Low SO2
- Organic eliminates agrichemical residues in wine, meaning you don’t consume them. Organic certification on labels is your only guarantee of this.
- No GMOs
- Genetically modified plants and farming inputs are prohibited in certified organic wine production. GMO crops are being shown to hold onto residual herbicides and whilst the jury is still out it’s probably not something you want to be putting into your body in too much quantity if at all.
Biodynamic is a term first used by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the early 1990s. It describes a holistic approach to agriculture, involving the management of farms as total systems, less reliant on external inputs.
Any biodynamic farm must first comply with organic rules. Where biodynamic principles principles and prescribe homeopathic preparations are part of the farming program, then the term biodynamic is used.
Eliminate the Hangovers in your life…
Sulphur Dioxide (SO2 shown on wine labels as additives 220, 223 or 224) is added to wines by winemakers as a preservative to avoid spoilage – 1 in 100 people react to sulphur with migraine, hangover symptoms and possible skin irritations.
In general Organic winemakers in Australia use much much less sulphur that non-organic wines so they are much less likely to give you a hangover – or you can just drink a lot more before you’ll feel the effects.
Many Organic winemakers have now mastered 100% sulphur free wines. If you are looking to try some these in the Hunter Valley we recommend taking a visit to Tamburlaine Organic Wines or Macquariedale Organic Wines.
Not all wine is just grape juice…
Fining is the finishing process for wine that takes out the bitterness from any seeds, stalks and skins that get caught up in the grape crushing. Traditionally winemakers have used animal proteins derived from eggs, milk, fish and gelatine to ‘purify’ wine – some even use a petrochemical to do it!
There is an alternative and Organic winemakers are at the forefront of developing and committing to vegetable based fining agents to ensure the product tastes and looks fantastic. Look out for wines that declare they are vegan friendly and you’ll be on the right track.
PS. Nan encourages the responsible service and consumption of alcohol even when organic wines might mean that certain people can drink more it without the risk of serious hangovers.
Thanks to Tamburlaine for the facts and to Macquariedale for leading our next Organic Winemaker’s Dinner on the 2nd September – get your tickets now.