Planet organic – delicious eco-friendly wines for Organic September

Nusrat Ghani

‘Organic September’ is a campaign that was launched by the Soil Association in 1994. The organisation is the UK’s largest and oldest organic certification body, with the aim of promoting organic food, drink and other products, plus the brands, farmers and producers making them.

On average, organic-certified wine volume consumption has increased around 9% yearly between 2014 and 2019. Today, the leading five organic wine markets – France, Germany, Sweden, the UK and the USA – are responsible for over 60% of worldwide consumption.

Here I’ve picked five superb wines made from a viticultural regime which eschews synthetic herbicides, fungicides, fertilisers, pesticides and other treatments.

So try toasting Mother Nature with this quintent of tip-top organic wines, plus two local ones at the end…

1) Must-try organic off-dry supermarket brilliant bubbly

Castellore Organic Prosecco Extra Dry NV, Italy (11.5%, £7.49, Aldi)

Another incredible example of the sort of good-value, palate-friendly wine at which Aldi excels, this organic, light-bodied, frothy wine is a great match for panettone and light sponges. Think honeysuckle, orchard fruit, tangerine, sherbet lemon and honeydew melon with a suggestion of spice. Very easy to drink in large draughts, so watch out. Serve well-chilled (and a fraction frostier than Champagne). Now 50p cheaper than last month.


2) Juicy, organic, vegan-friendly red from Spain – a world leader in organic viticulture

2019 Rafala Organic Tempranillo, Spain (14%, £7, Co-op)

Organic certification and organic farming are much easier in warm, dry locations with more predictable weather and lower precipitation. Spanish winemakers have made the most of this advantage, so much so that the country now claims the largest surface area of organic vineyards in the world – over 100,000 ha. Made by the ever-reliable family business of Bodegas Fontana in Castilla-La Mancha, this is a cracking, supple, unoaked, smooth, easy-drinking tempranillo packed with ripe strawberry and subtle tobacco flavours. Pair with pink lamb cutlets chops, chickpea and chorizo soup, or the Sunday roast (it’ll sing with both lamb and pork) ¡Salud!


3) Mellow, organic, exotically-scented white from a founding member of Australia’s ‘First Families of Wine’

2020 Yalumba Organic Viognier, South Australia (13.5%, £10, Tesco; £7.49 offer, 25% off, Waitrose, until September 21, 2021)

This one from Aussie viognier pioneers and specialists Yalumba (their ‘Virgilius’ Viognier is perhaps Oz’s finest example of this heady variety) throws stone fruit, preserved lemons, green mango, subtle ginger and varied floral aromas and flavours the drinker’s way. Outstandingly, it’s also devoid of the phenolics that regularly mar this finicky grape. This is a substantial mouthful of flavour but don’t wait as it’ll probably never be better than it is now. A wild-fermented wine to enjoy at the table rather than as an aperitif, perhaps. One for coronation chicken, tagines, Pad Thai, seared scallops, mild chicken curries, red lentil dhal with spinach, pumpkin ravioli/risotto and grilled lobster. It’s vegan-friendly, too.


4) Must-try, discounted, tip-top French organic and biodynamic rosé from the Gers department

2020 Nature Secrète Rosé 2020, Producteurs Plaimont, Saint-Mont, Gascony, France (12.5%, £7.99 offer, House of Townend)

South-west France is a treasure trove of under-the-radar appellations. The Gers department is midway between Toulouse and Biarritz, around 100km (60 miles) from the Atlantic coast.

Begin your journey of discovery with this sensational, organic, salmon-pink organic rosé from the republic’s liveliest co-op. Made from a captivating blend of raspberry-perfumed tannat (the king of Madiran and Uruguay), pinenc (aka fer servadou) and cabernet sauvignon, it’s a great aperitif and one to pour into tumblers with chicken/niçoise salads, salmon, charcuterie, and lamb served pink or tapas. Exquisite floral scent, strawberry and zingy magnificence marry in pitch perfection. Great offer now from the fourth-generation-family-run House of Townend.

Find out more about biodynamics (Hello cow horns filled with Preparation 500) on September 14 with VIVANT’s interactive online wine experiences.


5) Gastronomic, high-altitude (around 500m above sea level), organic Perfect provençal pink

2020, Château Vignelaure, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé, France (13%, £13.50, The Wine Society)

Run for around 15 years by a Danish-Swedish couple, Vignelaure makes a very successful range of classy red and rosé wines in the Terroir des Haut Plateaux – the coolest zone of Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence – in the craggy hills of the north-eastern district of the Var department.

I was smitten with this elegant, organic, more-affordable-but-still-premium blend of mainly grenache, syrah and cabernet sauvignon, topped up with 20% vermentino. Dry, silken and fairly pale, it tastes of peaches, grapefruit and summer berries with a faint touch of fennel. Try it with bouillabaisse, Camembert, crab, fish and chips, a roast leg of lamb, seafood paella and sushi. A beauty!


Local & organic: Viner’s top two sparkling wines to try


In the past all farming was ‘organic.’ Nowadays growing vines without agrochemicals whilst making economic­ally worthwhile yields in this country is not trouble-free. Organic and biodynamic farming is an extremely challenging business in the UK. Both of my sparkling wine selections below come from organically-farmed vineyards as certified by The Soil Association.

Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine
and the hashtag #OrganicSeptember


Top Slate Photo: © Oleksandr Latkun/
Basket Photo: © Aamulya/

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