Wines without sulphite?


Although it is possible to refrain from using sulphite in many stages of vinification, wines without sulphite often encounter many problems, one of which is the aging process and self-life. Sulfite significantly contributes to the guaranteed longevity of the wine (depending also on its quality, style, and type). Sulphite is not only used in wine but in many other packaged foods and drinks.

According to Greek oenologists, the use of sulphur dioxide in Greek wines has been greatly reduced in recent years. Greek winegrowers, following alternative practices, take every measure not to intervene with the natural production of the wine. However, there are very few alternative winegrowers in Greece and world-wide who would risk producing wines without sulphite—or at least a traceable amount (for the reasons outlined above). There are several techniques have been proven to reduce (though not entirely eliminate) the need for sulphite interventions and Greek winegrowers are beginning to use these methods. A winegrower can increase the oxidative potential of the must by continuously giving it air, so that it is addicted to the presence of oxygen before it even becomes wine; in such cases, the SO2 is used almost exclusively for anti-bacterial protection. For the same reason, others keep extra carbon dioxide (CO2) trapped in the tanks, barrels, and in the wine itself, removing it a little prior to bottling.

Regarding the role of sulphite and human health, there are some people who have allergies (or a general intolerance) to sulphite, and the negative impacts of sulphite on the body’s storage of vitamin B1 as well as on the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol (sulphite inhibits the action of the enzymes in the liver), are widely known in the medical community. These medical reasons alone are enough to convince many to choose wines without sulphite or less SO2 but lowered levels of sulphite also have also been reported as being more digestible and as giving the feeling that a wind of freedom and liveliness breathes through the glass.