It may come as a surprise, but Spain continues to boast one of the largest land area planted to organic vineyards in the world, a statistic which continues to increase throughout the years.
With approximately 106,508.6 hectares dedicated to organic vines in 2016, Spain is the world’s number one of organic wine producer, accounting for 27% of the world’s organic wines.Additionally, Spain is first in the EU and fourth in the world when it comes to organic farming overall, at at approximately 2,020,000 hectares in 2016. As one of the largest wine producing nations, it is only natural that Spain is a leader in organic and sustainable winemaking.
Organic and Sustainable Wines
In Spain, organic wines are produced under the principles of organic farming, which means the grapes are grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. In organic vinification, no chemicals or GMOs are allowed, and restrictions on procedures and additives are applied.
Apart from organic, sustainable winemaking covers a range of practices that are not only ecologically sound, but also economically viable and socially responsible. Sustainable wineries aim for the mitigation and reduction of wastefulness in winemaking, while ensuring that every aspect of the vineyard, winery, surrounding habitat and ecosystem, employees and community is managed in a responsible way.
Wineries Leading Organic and Sustainable Winemaking
While some winemakers make the shift to organic or sustainable production following personal preferences and market trends, for many, producing organic and sustainable wines responds to an urge to preserve the environment and care for the longevity of their land and community.
While many smaller wineries are producing organic and sustainable wines, they often lack the resources to promote these outside the country. In 2014, Spanish Organic Wines (SOW) was created to support small and medium-sized wineries in their promotional efforts abroad. A total of 35 wineries in 18 D.O.s are represented by the association today, attending industry events and competitions such as PROWEIN or ECOVINO.
So next time that you are shopping at your local retailer, look out for Spain’s incredible selection of organic and sustainable wines!