To celebrate Organic September, I have picked a dozen wines from around the world made from grapes grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilisers. All under £20 per bottle, it proves that organic does not necessarily mean expensive – and there are some great organic wine bargains to be found.
Veneto, N Italy: CERADELLO ORGANIC PROSECCO BRUT NV
From a single estate in a mountain landscape, hence the Dolomite peaks on the label. This is classy Spumante mountain fizz made by Adria Vini from organically-grown Glera grapes with aromatic peachy notes with creamy texture and fresh vibrant length: 11%
Piedmont, N Italy: LA RAIA IL BORGO ORGANIC GAVI 2021 **STAR BUY**
£9.99 Majestic Wine
Cracking price for this stylish Gavi from the Rossi Cairo family. Cortese grapes are grown in vineyards surrounded by acacia trees, so famous in Piedmont region. Beautifully floral, citric intense approachable aperitif.
Bordeaux, France: CHATEAU DU SEUIL GRAVES BLANC 2018
£15.99 Virgin Wines
Sean and Nicola Allison, a New Zealand and Welsh couple, create this Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend south of Bordeaux in Graves. Very honeyed and citric with deft touch of smoky oak – the Semillon portion is partly fermented in new French oak.
Marlborough, New Zealand: BABICH ORGANIC ALBARINO 2022
£14.99 Majestic Wine
Long established Babich winery have introduced the Galician grape Albarino to their Headwaters vineyards in Wairau valley with great success. It is a big rich lush example of Albarino, slightly off dry, but with enough tangy refreshing natural acidity to freshen the palate.
Ribeiro, Spain: THE FLOWER & THE BEE BLANCO 2022 **STAR BUY**
£19 The Sourcing Table; Harvey Nichols; Cork & Cask, Edinburgh
100% Treixadura from vines planted on ‘socalcos’ terraces with granitic sand near Gomariz. Made by Bodegas Coto de Gomariz, owned by Ricard Carreiro with winemaker Jose Luis Sebio, based in the eastern edge of Ribeiro region overlooking the Avia river in Galicia. Rich herby peachy with soft rounded texture.
Sicily, Italy: PURATO ROSE TERRE SICILIANE 2022
£10.50 Ocado; Abel & Cole; Amazon
A carbon neutral rose made by Stefano Girelli from the popular Nero d’Avola Sicilian grape grown in Trapani in the extreme west of the island. With its warm dry climate, Sicily is perfect for organic grape growing. This was made with minimal skin contact, a pale rose with rich red berry fruits.
Manchuela, Spain: ENBLANCO DE ALTOLANDON 2021
£13.50-£15 Cornelius Wine, Edinburgh; Drinkmonger, Edinburgh & Pitlochry
Bodegas Altolandon makes this very approachable orange wine from Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris fermented on skins and aged in 1000 litre clay amphorae. Aromatic, apricoty, with a hint of anise – very elegant and mellow; a great introduction to the orange wine style: 12%
Puglia, S Italy: TERRE DI FAIANO NERO DI TROIA ORGANIC 2021
£8 reduced from £9.50 Sainsburys
Nero di Troia is an indigenous grape from northern Puglia which make rich lush intensely fruity reds – and the third most planted after Primitivo and Negroamaro. It has plenty of exotic spice and earthy notes with velvet smooth tannins. Cracking price at discount.
Calabria, S Italy: SANTA VENERE CIRO ROSSO GAGLIOPPO 2021 **STAR BUY**
£10.95 The Wine Society
Produced in the wild Calabria region in southern Italy (in Italy’s toe) from organically grown grapes half a kilometre from the Ionian sea on Santa Venere’s mixed farm from ancient Gaglioppo grape. Pale colour disguises its intense ripe fruit flavours, its kid-glove softness on the palate makes it so easy and approachable.
Thracian Valley, Bulgaria: EDUARDO MIROGLIO BIO MAVRUD & RUBIN 2019
£13.50 St Andrews Wine
Delicious dark berry fruited blend from two grapes which are vying to be Bulgaria’s flagship grape, Mavrud and Rubin. Italian textile manufacturer-turned winemaker Miroglio majors on Mavrud in his vineyards, but adds in Rubin, a cross between Nebbiolo and Syrah, to add roundness elegance and spice.
Sicily, Italy: FRAPPATO COSTADUNE MANDRAROSSA 2022
£11.95 The Wine Society
For those who like light fresh juicy reds, the morello-cherry flavoured Frappato grape is a delight. Sicily’s light bodied native red grape has fragrant violets and soft smooth tannins – suit those who normally drink Pinot Noir.
Southern Rhone, France: ALAIN JAUME GRANDE GARRIGUE ORGANIC VACQUEYRAS 2019 **STAR BUY**
£17.99 Majestic Wine
One of my favourite Vacqueyras made from a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault on Les Garrigues plateau by acclaimed southern Rhone vigneron Alain Jaume. Loved its deep dark fruits, dried herby notes, meaty undertones and soft roundness – it tastes like a mini Chateauneuf du Pape.
Join Rose’s Champagne v Sparkling Wine + Buffet in Rufflets Country House Hotel, St Andrews Friday 17 November www.rosemurraybrown.com
By Rose Murray Brown MW Published in The Scotsman 9 Sept 2023
Title image: Organic vineyard Domaine Bousquet in Argentina