Do you allow sulphites in organic wine?

Yes, we allow the use of sulphur dioxide in wine. On average organic producers use just one quarter of the legal maximum for conventional wines.

Sulphur dioxide is allowed during vinification to prevent the wine turning to vinegar, but the amount that can be used is limited under organic rules.

Under EU regulation 1493/1999, the total sulphur dioxide (SO2) content of conventional wines, other than sparkling wines and liqueur wines, on their release to the market for direct human consumption, may not exceed:

(a) 160 milligrams per litre for red wines; and
(b) 210 milligrams per litre for white and rose wines.

However for some non-organic dessert wines the permitted levels are as high as 400mg/kg.

Under the Soil Association's organic standards, the following levels must not be exceeded:

Product Total sulphur dioxide permitted (milligrams per litre) Amount of 'free' sulphur dioxide permitted as part of the total milligrams per litre allowance
Red 90 25
White/rose/cider 100 30
Sparkling 100 10
Dessert 250 70
Bag in box 155 55

The Soil Association's standards for sulphur dioxide content are even stricter than some other organic certification bodies. Sulphur dioxide is not allowed in any other circumstances.

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