Americans are becoming more environmentally aware, and this holds true with their wine consumption as well.  Consumer attitudes to organic wines shows that there is a market niche for quality examples of the product (http://www.marketresearch.com/map/prod/1495556.html ).This trend bodes well for Argentine wine, because while the production of organic wine may have started in the old world, Argentina has eclipsed the export of the entire old world organic wine market many times over.  Argentina exported 3,500,000 kilo of organic wine in 2003, compared to only 500,000 kilos in the old world ( http://www.winesur.com/ver_nota.php?nota=19162 ). 

The questions “What is an organic wine?” and “Why does Argentina grow so much organic wine?”  are probably on the tip of your tongues.  The USDA requires an organic wine to be made with organically grown grape, and not contain sulfites.  Organically grown grapes means no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers ( http://www.theorganicwinecompany.com/basics.php ).  Sulfites are naturally occurring in wine, but adding more of them acts as a preservative to maintain the quality of the wine once bottled (http://www.wineintro.com/glossary/s/sulfites.html ).  While some bemoan to difficulties of creating an organic wine that is lasting with bottle consistency, other, like many boutique producers in Argentina, have seen it as an untapped market.

One reason that Argentina produces so much organic wine is that the climate and soil makes herbicides and pesticides much less necessary, as well as eliminating the need to watch for funguses.  It is much easier to grow grapes organically in Mendoza, San Juan and La Rioja because of this.

Many wines that contain organically grown grapes still add sulfites, and sulfites have been an addition to wine since the Romans, in Argentina and elsewhere, but there is not government recognized distinction to describe those wines yet.  So, if you are looking for a guaranteed organic product then Argentine wines offer a variety to choose from. 

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