We believe in creating a community, sharing our experience and spreading Contemporary Organic practices for the benefit of all.
At Tamburlaine Organic Wines, we strive to create the best future possible. We believe that working in harmony with our environment is key to growing a flourishing future. Not only for ourselves, but also for our vineyards and the people we care for.
Believe us if you will, but sending wines to a competition is a bit like sending horses to a race. We select our best ones, coming from a long line of winners, polish them carefully and see how they do. Well, that's most of the time.
And sometimes Aaron Mercer our senior winemaker gets adventurous. And something unexpected happens.
Last week at the 2017 Pier One NSW Wine Awards it's our 2017 'Preservative Free' Cabernet Merlot that shone brightest. It was entered in the Young Red blends category against 28 other wines and received a Gold medal.
Wines without added sulphur dioxide (SO2), or 'Preservative Free' wines have become quite popular over the past few years. But what is 'Preservative Free' wine?
Sulphur dioxide is used in the vineyard and the winery to keep the wine fresh and prevent spoilage. Even if it is not added, some SO2 is naturally created during the fermentation of the grapes. But winemakers can choose to add additional sulphur at harvest, or throughout the winemaking process. 'Preservative Free' wine requires contemporary practices in the vineyard and the winery to be made entirely without the addition of sulphur. (read more about The Sulphur Story)
Moreover, according to a recent study some consumers (around 1% according to a recent study) react to sulphur at different levels, experiencing skin irritation, migraine and/or ‘hangover’ symptoms. 1 in 100 people is quite a lot!
All in all, this extra care is definitely worth the results, with beautiful wine that tastes just as good (if not better). Our 2017 'Preservative Free' Shiraz also won Bronze medal, these two are not done surprising you!
You might have seen them on your favourite independent retailer's shelves, with their white labels and signature On The Grapevine artwork. But you probably didn’t know that they also win awards. Our ‘Preservative Free’ range has been around for some time, so if you are not quite sure what these lovely wines have to offer, here’s something to refresh our memories.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2 – also shown on wine labels as additives 220, 223 or 224) is added to wines by winemakers as a preservative but is also naturally present in wine. Tiny amounts of sulphur are created during the fermentation of the grapes. Winemakers may choose to add additional sulphur at harvest to preserve the grapes, or throughout the winemaking process. Adding sulphur prevents the oxidation and spoilage of wine. It was discovered as a means to keep the wines fresh when shipping them overseas (so your favourite drop doesn’t turn brown-red under the sun).
Some consumers (around 1% according to a recent study) react to sulphur at different levels, experiencing skin irritation, migraine and/or ‘hangover’ symptoms. 1 in 100 people is quite a lot!
Non-organic winemaking in Australia allows between 250mg/L up to 300mg/L of sulphur dioxide. Organic standards only allow half of these levels, between 100mg/L and 180mg/L. Our contemporary practices in the vineyard and the winery (see Contemporary Organics article) allows wines to be made entirely without the addition of sulphur. And they taste just as good!
These wines are able to push the concept of modern winemaking, creating structured, balanced wines, truly capable of expressing their vineyard and their “terroir”.
‘Biodynamic’ is a term first used by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner in the early 1900s. It described 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 and prescribed homoeopathic preparations are part of the farming program, then the term biodynamic is used. Tamburlaine utilises some biodynamic practices and preparations in our organic vineyard programs.
1. Sustainable farming
Organic farms are as productive and always more sustainable than non-organic. Many agrichemical sprays leave residues in the plants/ fruit as well as in the surrounding environment and groundwater.
2. Biological soil health
Biological soil health is at the heart of sustainable productive farms. The absence of harmful agrichemical sprays increases healthy soil microbe activity, optimising plant health.
3. Beneficial insect, fungi and bacteria protection
With organic farming methods, the beneficial fungi and bacteria are protected (the ‘good bugs’), rather than killed off with pesticides and herbicides. This means that plants are naturally more resilient to fungal disease and insect attack (‘bad bugs’).
4. Consumer benefits / low SO2
Organic eliminates agrichemical residues in wine, meaning we don’t consume them. Organic certification on labels is your only guarantee of this. Read on to find out more about the use of sulphate preservative in wine.
5. No GMOs
Genetically-modified plants and farming inputs are prohibited in certified wine production. The jury is out on the harmful side effects of GMO corn, canola and soy, where high residual herbicide levels are more and more finding their way into our food. BEWARE!