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Sulphites in Wine

Sulphites in wine, Regulations and Organic


Among the various constituent elements of grapes, there are some that serve to regulate the fermentation phase and then its preservation. Since antiquity, different techniques have been used to prolong the preservation of wine and enable its distribution over great distances; such as adding resins, spices or herbs which, however, offset the wine's original taste. About 200 years ago, it was discovered that sulphites develop naturally during fermentation (max. 10 mg litre), which have the function of protecting the fermentation itself from bacterial attack and then once incorporated into the wine help its preservation. Once this process was discovered, the next step was to increase (by adding them) the amount of sulphites in the must. 


This made it possible to obtain wines that could be preserved even from poor quality grapes. However, sulphites in high quantities are harmful to health, so the legislator set a maximum limit on their quantity in wine: 160 mg/lt on red wines 210 mg/lt on white wines. In wine on the market, these limits are not normally reached, but in almost all of them, well above 100 mg/lt. In fact, in wines with low alcohol content and in cheap packaging, the amount of sulphites reaches almost the maximum allowed. 

In our organic wines, the average amount of sulphites is 40-50 mg/lt in reds and 80 mg/lt in whites.


It should be added that at present, even with all the technology available, wine without added sulphites cannot be produced with all grape varieties, or even the entire volume of a certain variety, because only the best bunches have to be selected, and in some years this may be impossible. 



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