In recent years, items from our grocery lists to our medicine cabinets to the cupboard under the sink have been converted to more natural counterparts. So let's extend the same courtesy to our wine stocks! Thanks to Natural Merchants, 29 imported wines from Europe have been non-GMO verified. It's time to drink up!
The announcement of the non-GMO challenge is in-line with the celebration of Earth Month this April. The Oregon- and Spain-based company is introducing the first European imported wines with this verification onto the American market.
The Small Print
Non-GMO wines must be certified without genetically modified organisms by the Non-GMO Project, the only third-party organization committed to confirming the non-GMO status of products sold throughout the United States. “Consumer demand for non-GMO products has increased dramatically in the United States, as an estimated 80% of all packaged goods are now genetically engineered,” says Edward Field, President of Natural Merchants. “The demand flows over into wine and other alcoholic beverages.”
All of these wines include only indigenous "wild" yeast fermentations originating in the vineyard, and the wines are not inoculated with the addition of the yeast. Fining is done via Bentonite clay, and the combination of using only these two natural additives along with the grapes not only makes the wines natural but also vegan.
Lisa Bell, a representative of the company, says that while consumer demand for non-GMO products has increased in the United States in recent years, "Europeans expect that ALL products are GMO free, and these wines have been GMO free from the beginning." It's the certification that makes this status more visible for North American consumers and vendors like Whole Foods, who are moving towards non-GMO certification for all of their products in coming years.
All This, and Organic Too!
Non-GMO verified certification is not the only way that Natural Merchants are making sure that these wines appeal to an organically-minded public. Of the 29 non-GMO certified wines, all are either made with organically grown grapes or are certified organic wines with no sulfites added.
"All of the wineries are organically certified organic by a European certifier, but also follow the organic regulations set forth by the USDA. We use trusted, established organic certifiers in each country," says Lisa. In addition, one of the wines, Biokult Gruner Vetliner, is grown biodynamically. All the more reason to feel good about enjoying that healthy glass of red wine.
The 29 wines that are included in this list comprise several different countries and varietals. Here's a selection to get you started; keep an eye out for these wines in your local stores.
Certified USDA Organic and NSA:
- Château de Lagarde Le Petit NSA Bordeaux AOC - A 100% merlot bottle with "intense aromas of fresh red berries" that "pairs well with poultry or sharp cheese."
- Bodegas Iranzo Spartico NSA - A 100% tempranillo bottle that's "juicy, smooth and tangy with plum and raspberry notes."
Made with Organic Grapes
- BioKult Rosé Secco Burgenland - A rosé made from 100% pinot noir with "bright aromas of strawberries and buttercream."
- Sofos Greek White Peloponesse - A combination of Moschofilero and Chardonnay grapes with "citrus and melon on the nose" and "light lemon notes on the palate."
- Tarantas Sparkling Rosé Spain - A bottle composed of 100% Bobal grapes with "aromas of dried strawberries" and a "dry, soft finish."
- Bodegas Iranzo Vertvs Tempranillo Joven - A red made from 100% Tempranillo with "blackberry, leather and olive aromas" and "nice, old world character."
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