Friday, March 13, 2009

Bonny Doon opts for Full Disclosure

As first reported by Dr Vino, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon has taken the initiative to put a full ingredients list on the back of his labels. In particular he notes the finings used (which may be of interest to certain strict vegans who prefer to avoid products fined with isinglass or eggwhite) and the concentrations of sulfites. This latter issue has long been a controversial one; some people have allergic reactions to sulfites, but a far greater number mistakenly think that they do. Until now all that people had for reference was the fact that wine labelled as "contains sulfites" typically contained anything from 10mg to 350mg (the maximum the FDA allows) per litre, and that anything not so labelled contained less than 10mg (since sulfites are naturally occurring products it's impossible for a wine to contain none at all). Note: Please see discussion under comments for more on this.

It's perhaps too much to hope that this becomes a legal requirement, but I hope that it takes off as a concept and other wineries follow suit. After all, the best winemakers ought to have nothing to hide. Plus of course it's also good to see a Santa Cruz Mountains winery taking the lead on this.


Anonymous said...

Hi David, The fact that wines always produce sulfites as a by product of fermentation is the myth perpetuated by the industry. We've been producing wines with out sulfites for about 20 years now and most, if not all, have not produced sulfites as by product. We did a study in 1991 a released it to the wine press. Many chose to ignore it because they printed this Myth and were to embarassed to print the correction. David, I be happy to go over the biochemistry & details with you on this some time. But it simply comes down to the nutrient level in the must during fermentation. If the yeast have enough nutrients to properly ferment the grape must, then sulfites are not produced as a biprodict of the fermentation. We, at Hallcrest Vineyards, under The Organic Wine Works label, have been very succesful at producing sulfite free wines, because of the yeast we use and the fact we utilize grapes that are "in balance" out in the vineyard. They have the proper nutrient balance as result of being subtainably grown.

Dave said...
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Dave said...

Thanks for your input, John.

I'd love to sit down with you some time and learn more about the details, and I'd certainly like to see a copy of your study. I have no interest in helping to sustain a myth.